History of the School
In 1859, the Community of Christian Brothers’ first arrived in Omagh following on from a request from the Bishop of Derry. A field 2 acres and 12 perches in size was purchased at the rear of the Catholic Church in Brook Street for £300. The remit of the Brothers in Omagh was that “Education be gratuitous and the admission free.”
On January 14th 1861 the school opened its doors for the first time with 121 boys presenting themselves for admission. On May 7th the school was placed under the patronage of Saint Columba and so adopted the title Mount Saint Columba’s Omagh Christian Brothers School. Following on from an extension completed in 1903, the school community continued to grow and by 1932, a new building was helping to accommodate 125 Secondary School Pupils and 6 teachers (2 brothers), with the entire site also consisting of 210 Primary School Pupils and 6 teachers (5 brothers).
The school continued to increase in number throughout the 1950s, with 216 Grammar School pupils and 361 Primary School pupils and 16 staff in total by 1955. The Centenary Celebrations of the school were marked during January of 1961 with a local housing development being named Centenary Park to mark the occasion. Work commenced on the new Grammar School during October 1966, with the doors on the Kevlin Road opening for the first time to pupils on September 4th 1967. The school’s first MacRory Cup title came in 1974.
In February of 1992, building commenced on the development of the new school extension. September 1993 also saw the appointment of the school’s first lay principal, Mr. Roddy Tierney. By October of 1994 the existing school building had been completely refurbished, a new Sports Hall, Multi-gym, Music Suite and state of the art Technology Suite completed. The Millennium year saw the opening of the Sports Complex at Coolnagard and in 2007 the school captured the Hogan Cup, making the School All Ireland Colleges Champions in Gaelic Football.
The beginning of the 21st Century has seen the school maintain its high standards of academic excellence, as well as an unprecedented period of sporting excellence. Academic rewards have included record breaking A Level and GCSE results, as well as numerous pupils attaining top place in subjects at both GCSE and A Level.
The school celebrated its 150th anniversary on January 14th 2011 and the book ‘From Mount Columba to the Kevlin Road’ was produced to mark the occasion.
School Ethos & Aims
This school is part of the Edmund Rice Schools network and it subscribes to the Charter of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust which focuses on teaching and lifelong learning, caring for one another, the development of the Catholic faith, transformational leadership and a genuine sense of community and partnership. Admission to this school indicates that both parents and students subscribe to our status as an Edmund Rice School, an acceptance of all school regulations by each student and his parents and an undertaking to observe all such regulations.
The school directs all its efforts towards establishing an environment which enables personal fulfilment through positive responses to the challenges of living in accordance with Catholic principles. We place the student at the centre of our concern, and aim to provide for him a well balanced programme of activities which promotes the full development of his spiritual, intellectual, social and physical powers. Students are encouraged to become involved in charitable work and community activities.