Presentation Brothers College, Cork

For other schools of the same name, see Presentation College (disambiguation).
PBC Cork

Viriliter Age (Act Manly)
Mardyke, Cork
Coordinates 51°53′51″N 8°29′06″W / 51.897578°N 08.485077°W / 51.897578; -08.485077Coordinates: 51°53′51″N 8°29′06″W / 51.897578°N 08.485077°W / 51.897578; -08.485077
Type Private
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1878
Principal Ken Whyte
Enrollment 672, approx. (112 per year group)
Colors Navy Blue (Persian Indigo), Black and White
A Pres student collecting outside the Crib in Daunt Square, as part of the 2006 SHARE Fast.

Presentation Brothers College (PBC Cork) (Irish: Coláiste na Toirbhirte; colloquially known as Pres) is a Catholic, boys-only, fee-paying secondary school in Cork, Ireland.


The college was founded by the Presentation Brothers in 1878, in the South Mall. Soon afterwards it moved to the Grand Parade and, in 1887, to the Western Road. In 1985, the college moved to a new building on the Mardyke on the site of the college's rugby facilities; the Western Road premises is now owned and used by UCC. The college has developed new rugby facilities at Dennehy's Cross & uses Shandon Boat Club, for rowing.

In 1969, Brother Jerome Kelly returned home from missionary work in the West Indies and was appointed principal of the college.[1] He organised a series of workshops, in which the students of Presentation College were encouraged to think globally and act locally:[1]

"Imbuing teenagers with a sense of responsibility and social consciousness is a vital part of any education, and it was with this in mind that Brother Jerome sent his senior Pres students out to walk the streets of Cork..."[2]

The result was the founding of the charity Students Harness Aid for the Relief of the Elderly in 1970.[1] SHARE expanded and now includes pupils from other secondary schools in Cork city.[1]

In 2005, the Preslink organisation was founded in the school; a group of junior students whose stated aim is to forge links with other Presentation Brothers communities.[3] In 2006, the organisation received an "Edmund Rice Award", which recognises groups that work to improve the lives of others.[3]

In November 2009, ownership of the school, along with seven other Presentation Brothers schools in Ireland, was handed over to a group of lay trustees[4]


The school offers both the Junior and Leaving Certificate cycles. It has been named the best boys' secondary School outside Dublin by the Irish Examiner. The current Curriculum teaches First Years : Religion; Irish as L2; English as L1; Mathematics; Latin; French as L2; German as L2; Science; Business Studies; History ; Geography; CSPE; SPHE ; Art; and Physical Education. In Second Year, the students may choose to drop two of the (L2) foreign languages. Unusually for a private school, streaming is not used until Third Year.

After completing the Junior Certificate, the college requires students to complete a mandatory Transition Year. In 5th year, students begin the Leaving Cert cycle. At the Leaving Certificate level, the college offers a wide range of courses. Irish as L2, English L1 and Mathematics are compulsory. One language must be taken from French as L2, German as L2 and Latin. Any three optional subjects may be taken from the Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology), the Businesses (Business Studies, Accounting, Economics), History, Art and Applied Mathematics.


The college sport is Rugby union. As of 2014; The college has won 28 Senior Cups and 29 Junior Cups respectively, and has produced 22 Irish Rugby Internationals. In 2007, the school won both the Senior Cup and the Junior Cup (the first time they had won both in the same year since 1995, when Ronan O'Gara was the Senior Captain). Five players have played for the Lions - Tom Kiernan (1962 & 1968), Jerry Walsh (1966), Michael Kiernan (1983), Ronan O'Gara (2001, 2005 & 2009) and Simon Zebo (2013).


In March, PBC won the Junior Cup for the first time in five years in a 17-12 win over Crescent.

In April, Senior captain Paul Kiernan (son of the aforementioned Michael) was called up to represent Ireland in the FIRA U18s Championships which were staged in Poland. Paul was a substitute in the quarter and semi final games but emerged to start in the final against England. Despite involvement in many Irish plays and putting in a strong defensive performance, the Irish side was defeated by a 30-14 scoreline.

Paul was also selected by the Munster U20s squad, along with fellow pupil David St. Leger, for the Autumn 2014 Inter-provincial Championships. The squad did not fare well, losing all three games. It was a similar story for Senior students John Poland and Shane Daly in the U19s series who won just one game. Kevin O' Leary and Jack O' Sullivan toured with the U18 squad in France prior to winning the Interprovincial series for 2014.

In November, the school was triumphant in the inaugural B Schools Bowen Shield, defeating CBC by a scoreline of 19-14 in the final. The A team repeated the feat a fortnight later in the Bowen Shield against the same opposition, winger Paul Buckley showing great acceleration in the last minute to score the winning try in the 19-17 win.

The U15 B's performed strongly in their Cup campaign but were ultimately foiled by Crescent College in the final by virtue of the First Try Rule after the 8-8 draw. The A squad were however to win out in their final, defeating Rockwell by 17-13.

The annual charity rugby game between Pres and Christians Senior Squads ended with the Temple Hill men celebrating the 24-12 win.


January began with the Junior B side being defeated by local rivals Christians Brothers College at the semi final stage of the Kidney Cup by a scoreline of 15-5. The month concluded with the Senior side being defeated in the first round of the Senior Cup by eventual winners Rockwell 16-14.

The Junior side fared better in their opening game, seeing off the challenge of Castletroy 33-10. The Senior side regained some ground by progressing to the semi finals at the expense of the same opposition. Fullback Daragh Dennehy being the two try-hero in the 22-15 win played out in Thomond Park. Semi final advancement also came to the Junior side as they beat Glenstal Abbey by a 22-3 scoreline.

March did however see both Cup teams defeated by last minute scores in their respective semi finals. Firstly, a penalty landed from forty metres out was the last and winning kick for Ardscoil Rís, the score finishing 13-11 in their favour. There was similar disappointment for the Junior side the following week. Eventual winners CBC were the better team, knocked Pres out of the park and claimed a 13-12 match winning score.

International call ups came after the Cup season, most notably for 4th Year student Jack O' Sullivan who represented Ireland in the FIRA U18 European Championships in France. Senior Captain John Poland received similar honours in lining out for the Irish U19s in two friendlies versus France alongside the previously capped past pupil Paul Kiernan (now of UCC RFC). Paul himself was named Irish captain for the two fixtures.

The school participates in a number of Munster under-age School-Boy competitions: McCarthy Cup A, B & B Schools (U-15), The Junior Cup (U-16), The Kidney Cup (Junior B), The Bowen Shield & B Schools (U-17), The Barry Cup (Senior B),and The Senior Cup (U-19). Pres have won every cup at some point and several teams have won every competition.

The school playing fields are located at Dennehy's Cross, Wilton. There are 4 pitches, one walled and one flood-lit.

Extra-curricular activities and sport


Recently, the college has achieved notable success in debating. In the 2011/12 academic year, Sam Browne, a fourth year student, was selected for the Irish schools debating team and represented the country at the 2012 World Schools Debating Championships in Cape Town, South Africa. Browne has since been recalled to represent Ireland twice more; in 2013 and subsequently captaining the side in 2014, falling short in the semi finals on both occasions. In that same year, both Sam Browne and Oisin Kidney reached the grand final of the Munster schools debating competition, with Browne claiming the runner-up prize. A team consisting of second years Fiachra Kelleher and Shane McCarthy were also runners-up at the Cork City Schools debating competition, with third year John Ryan-Purcell representing the school as an individual.

The debating society has also seen remarkable success at the European Youth Parliament. In 2012, two fifth year students, Sean Crowley and Oisin Kidney, were selected to represent Ireland at the international sessions of the parliament. In 2013, Sam Browne was selected for an international session hosted in Tbilisi, Georgia. In 2014, Fiachra Kelleher and Dylan McDermott were selected to represent Ireland at international sessions in Amsterdam and Thessaloniki respectively.

In the 2012/13 academic year, the school performed well at the UCD Bank of Ireland International Schools' Mace, the largest mace tournament at senior cycle level in Ireland,[5] with two teams (Daire O'Herlihy with John Ryan-Purcell and Sam Browne with Oisin Kidney) reaching the final of the competition. The team consisting of Browne and Kidney won the final on a unanimous decision.


The college drama society performs one production of a dramatic play annually. This is very often the play studied by Leaving Cert students of that academic year. The current head and Director of Drama is Kieran Aherne. Recent productions include;


In 2012 three students were invited to partake in the European Science and Maths Olympiad, based on their Junior Certificate results in Maths and Science. These students participated in the Olympiad in DCU and they performed exceptionally well. In 2004, the Pres team won the first Cork Robotics Competition for Schools, which was launched by the Cork Electronics Industry Association (CEIA) at the National Software Centre in Mahon Point.


A pair of 'croker' blades.

PBC has had many students who have been members of the various Cork rowing clubs since 1890, some of whom have won Irish Championships with these clubs but never as Pres College Rowing Club. In 1985 Presentation College Rowing Club was registered officially for the first time with the Irish Amateur Rowing Union and began rowing out of Shandon Boat Club on the Marina. The equipment used was bought second-hand from Dungarvan Rowing Club. In its existence to date the club has been a tenant of both Cork Boat Club and Lee Rowing Club and has recently returned to Shandon Boat Club. Since 1985 many improvements have taken place.

The club now owns 3 Eights, 4 Fours, 3 Pairs and 7 Singles along with a full selection of blades, coaching launches and a boat trailer. Transport to regattas is made easy by the purchase of a 15-seater minibus.

With over 50 pupils in regular training in both the gym and on the water. Rowing contributes enormously to the sporting ethos and policy of the College.

Other sports

Other sports played at the college include basketball, cricket, GAA, soccer and golf. The school has won the GAA Lord Mayor's Cup five times in the last six years. The school golf team has also won the Cork County Championship consecutively in 2006 and 2007. PBC reached the All-Ireland basketball U-16s cup final for the first time in 2009 and defeated St.Columbs college from Derry to win PBC's first ever All-Ireland under the guidance of former coach of the Irish senior men's basketball team Sean Murphy. In the last number of years, the college has won numerous soccer titles. These include Cork Cups at First Year, Minor, Junior and Senior level. In February 2015, PBC won the Munster Schools Senior Cup.

Selected alumni






Other sport


  1. 1 2 3 4 "About". SHARE. Retrieved 2007-12-25.
  2. Michèle Horgan (2005-01-10). "PBC Cork celebrating 125 years". Newspaper Supplement. The Irish Examiner. p. 6 "Sharing and Caring".
  3. 1 2 Presentation Brothers College Newsletter, p 7, June 2006
  4. "Presentation Brothers hand over to lay trustees". The Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2009-11-26.
  5. Link text
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