Garbally College

For other schools of the same name, see Saint Joseph's College (disambiguation).
Garbally College
Coláiste Ghearrbhaile
Ballinasloe, County Galway
Republic of Ireland
Motto Latin: Fide et Fortitudine
("By Faith and Courage")
Established 1892
President Colm Allman
Principal Stephen Reilly
Number of students c.500
The coat of arms of Garbally College

Garbally College (Irish Coláiste Ghearrbhaile) is a voluntary Catholic secondary school based in Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland. It is a single-sex boys school which served also as a boarding school up to 2008. It is officially known as St Joseph's College (Irish Coláiste Sheosaimh).


St Joseph's College was founded as a Roman Catholic seminary in 1892 to help educate priests for the Diocese of Clonfert, which owns it. It is managed by John Kirby, Bishop of Clonfert, and four other governors. It is staffed by priests of the diocese and lay teachers.

The college was established at Cartron with funds provided by James Madden. Due to expansion the college was changed to Esker, near Athenry in 1894. In 1901, it moved to the building known locally as "The Pines", at Creagh, Ballinasloe. In 1923, it moved to its present site at Garbally, once seat of the Earls of Clancarty. The Diocese purchased Garbally Court (built in 1819) and estate from the trustees of the Earls of Clancarty for £6,750 in 1922.

In the 1940s, 50s and 60s two other members of the same Madden family, brothers John Madden of Killimor and George Madden of London bestowed many gifts on Garbally, including the funds to build the present science halls, study hall, extra classrooms and dining hall.


The school offers both the Junior and Leaving Certificate cycles and was one of the first schools to implement a Transition Year programme when it was introduced in 1973. Garbally offers all the mandatory subjects, along with woodwork, metalwork, design & communication, music, food appreciation and a new gym facility.


Garbally College is well known for its sporting tradition in Rugby Union, Hurling and Gaelic football. The college has many Connacht Schools Senior Cups and Connacht Schools Junior Cups and has produced a number of Irish Rugby Internationals. Garbally have won the Senior Cup 45 times, most recently in 2015. Garbally have won the Junior Cup 41 times, most recently in 2006.

The last team which included borders to win the Cup was in 2007.

Notable alumni

Notable staff and former staff

See also

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