On November 9th 1811 Brother Jerome O’Connor and Brother John Baptist Leonard opened the doors of a small school in Chapel Lane to just 17 students. News of this small beginning quickly spread and soon the school was far too small. In 1814 a site at Ard Mhuire, Our Lady’s Mount was purchased, cleared and construction of a new school and Monastery began. An outbreak of typhus fever saw the school being used as a temporaryhospital before it officially opened to students in 1817.
The celebrated poet and novelist Bro. Gerard Griffin joined the ChristianBrothers in 1839 and his remains are interred in the North Mon Cemetery. In 1877 the technical genius Bro. James Dominic Burke thrilled the peopleof Cork when to celebrate the jubilee of Pope Pius DC, he flashed beams ofelectric light into the sky from the grounds of the Mon, a full 2 years before Thomas Edison’s patented the light bulb. Around the same time Bro. John P Holland began model tests of his new design, the submarine, in the North Mon’s Ornamental pond. During the early 1900s one Christian Brother was also a practicing Taxidermist and he left a large collection of stuffed animals that can still be seen within the school today.
It is estimated over 200,000 students have passed through the North Monastery over the last 200 years.
Gael Choláiste Mhuire AG, An Mhainistir Thuaidh, the North Monastery Secondary School and Scoil Mhuire Fatima will be open for Cork Heritage Open Day with guided tours of Gael Choláiste Mhuire AG, An Mhainistir Thuaidh throughout the day.
The North Monastery Secondary School History Club will give guided tours of the North Monastery Secondary School (12pm, 1.45pm) a talk on Brother Burke (12.30pm) and there will be a screening of a documentary (2.15pm) on John Holland, a former pupil of the NorthMonastery who developed the first submarine.