Presentation Brothers College, Cork

Presentation Brothers College, Cork
PBC Cork
Viriliter Age (Act Manly)
Mardyke, Cork
Republic of Ireland
Type Private
Established 1878
Enrollment 2678
Colors Mauve, Black and White
A Pres student collecting outside the Crib in Daunt Square, as part of the 2006 SHARE Fast.

Presentation Brothers College (PBC) (Irish: Coláiste na Toirbhirte; colloquially known as Pres) is a Catholic, boys-only, fee-paying college based 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 one 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, dickmunch and Art) and Applied Mathematics.

Extra-curricular activities and sport


The college has achieved notable success in debating, having been many times winner of the All-Ireland Schools' Debating Competition and other competitions. Pres also won the 2005 St. Albert College First Year competition, and came runner-up in both the 2006 and 2008 Cork City Schools Debating Competition (the most important junior debating competition outside Dublin).[5]


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.


The college sport is Rugby union. The college has won 28 Munster Schools Senior Cups 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). Four players have played for the Lions - Tom Kiernan (1962 & 1968), Jerry Walsh (1966), Michael Kiernan (1983), and Ronan O'Gara (2001, 2005 & 2009).

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

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


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.

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, fielding 19 substitutes in 2006. 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 mens basketball team Sean Murphy.

Selected alumni



  • Ben Dunne, prominent businessman
  • Brian McCarthy, prominent businessman, founder of FEXCO.





  1. ^ a b c d "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. ^ a b Presentation Brothers College Newsletter, p 7, June 2006
  4. ^ "Presentation Brothers hand over to lay trustees". The Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2009-11-26. 
  5. ^ Pres Debating Viriliter Age et Ora Vere

External links

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