Famous Past Pupils - St Patricks BNS

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Famous Past Pupils

School Information

Over the years there have been many famous people who were taught at St. Patrick's B.N.S. For example Séamus Murphy , Dónal Lenihan and Frank O' Connor and more recently Tomás O' Leary.

Frank O' Connor was born in 1903. His real name was Michael O' Donovan.Raised in Cork, the only child of Minnie O'Connor and Michael O'Donovan, he attended school in the famous St. Patrick's B.N.S. Daniel Corkery was his teacher in St. Pa's. He wrote over 150 stories. One book was called An Only Child. He travelled all over the world to tell his stories. He was a member of the I.R.A and spent  some time in a prison camp for being involved. He was also managing director of the famous Abbey theatre in Dublin. Frank O' Connor's stories are still famous today throughout the world. O'Connor was perhaps best known for his varied and comprehensive short stories but also for his work as a literary critic, essayist, travel writer, translator and biographer.He was also a novelist, poet and dramatist.
To learn more of his life and work visit:


Séamus Murphy was born in 1907 near Mallow Co. Cork. He attended St. Patrick's from 1912-1921. A teacher at St. Patrick's B.N.S. called Daniel Corkery gave him his first drawing lessons. He thought that Séamus should enter Crawford school of art. He was a very good sculptor. He sculpted other famous people like Christy Ring and Jack Lynch. He also designed Blackpool church and had a local workshop. He died in 1975. There is a little quiet area in the middle of the school dedicated to our famous sculptor,  the Séamus Murphy Courtyard.
To learn more of his life and work, visit:



Dónal Lenihan was born in 1959 and lived in Cahergal Gardens. He came to school at Saint Patrick's and later developed a love for rugby when he attended Christian Brothers' College. He made his debut for Ireland against Australia at the age of 22. He was ever present in the Irish team for over a decade which saw two Triple Crowns and three 5 Nations Championships victories. He represented Ireland 52 times. He toured with the Lions and also managed Ireland. Donal is still involved in the game of rugby today and regularly features in the media as a reporter and presenter.
To learn more about our past pupil, visit:


Dónal's School Visit
We were delighted in 2012 to welcome Dónal back to the school on a special visit to acknowledge his achievements in sport. Pictured is 6th class boy Jack Moore-Brennan presenting Donal with a picture of the 1971 school football team of which he was a member. Also present at the presentation was Mr. Vincent O'Sullivan former principal of St. Patrick's.

Tomás O' Leary was born on the 22nd of October 1983, the son of Seanie O' Leary, a hurler with Cork.Tomás is an Irish rugby union player playing in scrum-half position for Ireland, Munster and Dolphin RFC. Tomás played Gaelic football and hurling as a youngster.
Tomás attended our school from 1990-1996 and represented the school's hurling and football teams. He also attended Christian Brothers College known as [CBC] for his second level education. CBC has a rugby tradition and this is where he first started playing rugby. He was recognised  as a promising talent  and played in the Munster schools' senior cup for the school. During this time he continued to play Hurling and won minor Munster and All-Ireland titles with Cork in 2000 and 2001.
After he completed school he continued with his rugby career instead of playing within the Gaelic Association. He was a member of the winning Irish u-21 rugby world cup squad which is rugby's biggest prize . Munster announced that Tomás would be a member of the squad tor the following year in August 2005.
An injury to Peter Stringer early in the 2005/06 season meant Tomás would make his Heineken cup  debut against Sale Sharks, one of  England's strongest sides in October 2005. Tomás played a prominent ride in Munster's 2005/06 and in 2007/08 winning Heineken cup campaign and especially in the knockout stages of the 07/08 tournament. In addition to his Munster commitments he was named in the Irish squad to tour in Argentina in the summer of 2007 and made his first test start for  Ireland against New Zealand  on the 5th of November 2008.
Tomás O' Leary  has a great talent and is an excellent player for his country and province and we at Saint Pa's are very proud of him and wish him the best of luck in the future.

By James Foley and Owen Casey

Last year St. Patrick’s had a visit from a very special past pupil. On 25th May 2010 the boys and staff were very excited to welcome Munster and Ireland scrum-half, Tomás O’Leary. Tomás was a pupil of St. Patrick’s B.N.S. between 1990 and 1996 and was taught by current staff members Mr Roche and Mrs Walsh and also by Mrs Collins-Kennedy who retired in September. Mr Roche gave the school a brief history of Tomás’s career, starting of course with the school football and hurling teams. He was first introduced to rugby in Christian Brothers’ College but still kept up the hurling and captained the Cork Minors to an All-Ireland Hurling Championship in 2001, making him the only player to play both hurling and rugby in Croke Park.
In his early 20s Tomás decided to concentrate on rugby. He played club rugby with Cork Constitution and later Dolphin and after many years’ hard work he found himself the first choice scrum-half with Munster and Ireland. Tomás has been involved in two Heineken Cup victories and a Magner’s League title with Munster as well as the Six Nations Grand Slam with Ireland. Tomás was selected to play for the British and Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa in 2009 but unfortunately broke his ankle playing for Munster several weeks beforehand.
Tomás O’Leary

When he visited, Tomás spoke to the boys about the importance of playing sports for enjoyment and friendship. He also kindly donated two of his jerseys to the school; a Munster jersey that he wore in the 2010 Heineken Cup semi-final against Biarritz and an Irish jersey that he wore in the victory against England in Twickenham in the 2010 Six Nations. Tomás promised to do his best to win a few trophies this season to show us in the coming year.

The school raffled the Munster jersey to raise funds for a new set of school jerseys. It was won by Ryan Walsh of last year’s sixth class. The Ireland jersey is proudly displayed in front of the school office alongside photographs of other famous past-pupils.
St. Patrick’s would like to thank Tomás for taking the time to drop in on us and also Martha O’Brien and Mr Roche for organising the visit.

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