Tel: (028) 7083 2715

Developing the Whole Child

Dominican College Delighted to Welcome Back Old Friends

Over the past few weeks a number of pupils who attended the scholl in the 1960’s arranged a visit back to their Alma Mater, Dominican College.

Firstly we had a visit from five ladies who were boarders in the school in the 1960’s- Mary Casey, Susan Coyle, Gemma Magnier, Carole McAlinden and Anne Murphy. This was followed by a visit from Brigeen Martini ( nee Mullan) who attended the school kindergarten also in the 1960’s.

Our visitors all enjoyed the trip down memory lane and visiting the school helped them to connect with strong and very positive memories of their time here.


Susan Coyle’s reflections on her time as a boarder in the 1960s


Susan Coyle offers this reflection on her visit with her school friends:

“I would like to say a huge most sincere thank you on behalf of me. Carole, Anne, Mary and Gemma for the amazing trip we had around our old alma mater on Friday 7th June last. You were all so welcoming and had obviously put a lot of time and effort into making our visit very special and memorable. Mr Ramsay was a wonderful host who told us so much about how the school has continued to evolve since we last were here . It was great to be able to visit parts of the school with which we were so familiar and even better to see parts which were strictly off limits when we were boarders here.

Thanks also to the Principal Mr Lynch and Deputy Mrs Heaney for also making us so welcome.

It was also lovely to meet Brian Canning who we remember fondly. Sadly we did not have any boys in our year!!

It was such a lovely trip down memory lane and sharing memories of our time there and seeing all the changes since then!

A few more memories from my time there.

In our day there were 112 boarders and 65 day pupils, a statistic which I seem to remember!!

The Nuns present in the 1960’s were:

–  Sister Maeve O’Nolan (formerly Sister Petronella); Irish and in charge of boarders 1965-1968

– Sister Rita Lane RIP: Geography and in charge of boarders from 1968 ( I see she died in August 2018 only a few days before Sister Lucien)

– Sister Lucian McEnroe RIP – Irish (died August 2018)

– Sister Regis Hegarty –

– Sister Honoria : History

– Sister Cecile Diamond – Latin

– Sister Berenice O’Keefe – English

– Sister Basil Warde –  Piano

– Sister Maire Rodgers ( not sure of subject)

– Sisters Lambert &  Osanna: School Nurses

– Mother Laurentia: Mother Prioress 1965-1968 (when we were there but probably pre 1965)

– Mother Benedict: Mother Prioress 1968 –


During our recent visit we saw that the list of nuns ran from 1917 – 1999- this was when the final Dominican sister took her leave of the Dominican site.


In the 1960s our lay teachers included:

– Miss Downes: History

– Mrs O’Shaughnessy: Science

– Suzie Dillon: Maths

– Catherine Hegarty: French

– Mairead Finegan: English

– Mrs Haddock: PE

– Mr Mc Mullan: : Spanish (I had an aversion to accents which he used to give out to me about!!)

– Barry Murphy RIP – Physics


These are the teachers I remember (maybe you remember some of them?) I hated Science so gave it up after 3rd year. I also had to give up geography as it was against Spanish! I was a linguist and did French, Spanish and English for A Level and went on to do my degree in French and Spanish. I worked in Admin in Trocaire for 22 years from 1980-2002 and got to use my Spanish which was great.

I was delighted to be able to attend in 1995 at the closing ceremony of the Boarding Department .

A recent tale…I volunteer in the pastoral centre of my local church, Guardian Angels, Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock. Helen, a lady I met there yesterday, boarded at DCP but before us 5! She’s Helen Donnelly from Portglenone and she and several sisters were boarders probably in the 50s!

She of course was fascinated to hear about our visit and I showed her the photos. She told me her sister Terry was seriously sanctioned for sneaking out over the wall to get fish and chips and ended up in Loreto Omagh!! “

Summing up her reflections on Dominican present, Susan offered these words:

“It was so lovely to hear about what’s happening currently in DCP, both the successes and the challenges ahead (the demolition and replacement of the “new building” being a major one) and I certainly got the impression that it’s a very happy caring environment for both staff and teachers.

Of course this only happens with a dedicated committed staff working in tandem with the students to create such an atmosphere. I’m sure I speak on behalf of all five of us in wishing you and all the staff and students continued success in the years ahead. I recollect you telling us there was a new Principal appointed, Mrs Oliver, and hopefully she will continue to build on the great strengths of this school. We would also like to wish Mr Lynch a very happy and peaceful retirement after his forty years of service in Dominican Colleges

Finally on a personal note I’m originally from Downpatrick. I boarded at DCP from 1965-1972. I came to DCP aged just 11 having failed my 11plus (I was under age doing it so had to get extra marks to pass which I didn’t. How awful was that?!).

I attended Prep with Nora Kennedy and Sharon McDevitt as well as Form 1 and passed my 11plus at the end of my 1st year!!

Please keep us updated on the school and any future past pupil events.


Brigeen Martini ( nee Mullan) and

the Dominican Kindergarten


Later in June we were equally delighted to invite a second visitor to the school. Mrs Brigeen Martini (nee Mullan) had been a day pupil in the Kindergarten in the college, in the room which is now the teachers’ Resource Room.


This is Brigeen’s story:


“My name is Brigeen Martini nee Mullan

My parents were James and Annie Mullan.

Address: Gisborne House,Harbour Place, Portstewart.

Apparently I was very keen to go school at the age of 4, unfortunately the local primary school, St Colms,did not allow entry until the age of 5. So my parents made enquiries and discovered that the Dominican Convent had a kindergarden, I was on my way!

When Kevin Ramsay showed us around the convent last week and I spied the spiral staircase, memories came flooding back. My fondest memory is our whole class rushing back early from lunchtime to get a seat beside Sister Fidelsis.

She was a beautiful, motherly, old nun. Our chairs had been placed in a semicircle earlier, Sister Fidelsis would sit in the top middle and 2 lucky girls would sit either side of her and would be able to cuddle in beside her.  I remember going down the spiral staircase to have our breaktime, in winter the milk was heated as it had nearly frozen in the little milk bottles.

Sister Imelda was another teacher I remember, during the tour I discovered an old picture of her, in my memory she was tall with a high coloured face, stern looking but also kind. I vaguely remember being excited going into a new classroom, it was in the new extension.

Sr Imelda continued to teach us. If you misbehaved you would have received a rap along the knuckles with a ruler. I remember during a test I was peeking at my neighbour’s paper when Sr Imelda said “heads down”, I went down so quickly I chipped my front tooth!

I left the convent in 1966 as we were moving to Garvagh. Sr Imelda very kindly gave me a statue of Our Lady. I still have it,it has remained  proudly on my dressing table ever since .

I have attached a few photos, the statue of Our Lady, my home in Portstewart and the only picture I could find of me and my older sister in I think, a convent uniform, I’m the little one.

I would like to thank Kevin and his colleague, my relation by marriage, Mrs Ria Carey for showing us around the convent, bringing up some lovely memories.