Griffith Barracks Multi-Denominational School

History of GBMDS

History of GBMDS

Recent History of the school

In June 1993, parents and supporters formed a campaign group to open a school for Crumlin and adjacent districts. This would be a co-educational school open to children of all religions, as well as children without religious persuasion, using child-centred methods and curriculum, and democratically run by teachers, parents and supporters. The school would be a Department of Education recognised national school, enabling the school to afford professional teachers, and making the school accessible to all children, regardless of social circumstances.

By July 1994, a temporary home was found at Old Kilmainham and converted by the hard work of parents and supporters. With approval from the Department of Education, Crumlin Multi-Denominational School opened on 11 th September 1994 with one small class (11 children) and 1 teacher. In 1996 the school moved to larger premises at Inchicore, until July 1997. The school then spent 6 months at School Street (thanks to St. Catherine's R.C. Parish). After lengthy political, legal and media campaigns and meetings with the Department of Education, our school accepted the building and parade ground site at Griffith Barracks, South Circular Road, as a permanent home. It was officially opened by President Mary McAleese in April 1998.

In 2016 the school moved to temporary accommodation on Clogher Road, to allow the OPW and Principal Construction to build a new school for us in Griffith Barracks. We look forward to moving back to our new school in late 2017!

Past History

The site of the Griffith Barracks was originally known as Grimswood Nurseries. The first buildings on the site were those of a remand prison or Bridewell in 1813. In 1844 it was linked with Catholic Emancipation and the subsequent movement for Repeal of the Act of Union. One of its most famous occupants was the Liberator Daniel O'Connell, believed to have been held in the old guardhouse. James Stephens (Young Ireland) and 'honest' Tom Steele were amongst its many famous historical prisoners.

In 1887 it was transferred to the War Department. In this era it was known as Wellington Barracks after the Duke of Wellington. In 1916, the Barracks was attacked during the Easter Rising. Éamonn De Valera was held in the Old Guardhouse following his arrest subsequent to the 1916 rising and afterwards taken to Kilmainham Gaol. The change from Wellington Barracks to Griffith Barracks occurred on the 15th April 1922, when it became one of the first to be handed over to the Irish Free State. The Army Council renamed the barracks after Arthur Griffith following his death.

The buildings, collectively known as The Guardhouse, with their sheltered courtyards, are listed for preservation. The Guardhouse has been converted to include a limited number of small classrooms, plus ancillary space (office, children's toilets etc.). In 1998 the old Guardhouse was converted by volunteer parents and supporters of the school, even the children helped with the painting! The children voted in May 1998 to call their school Griffith Barracks National School. We have since changed it to Griffith Barracks Multi-Denominational School to better reflect the ethos of the school.

The BOM, like BOM all over the country has difficulty financing the school on capitation grants alone and depends heavily on parents to fundraise. They are very grateful to all the parents who work so hard at fundraising.

30 2024
Return to School 2024
Griffith Barracks Multi-Denominational School,
The Old Guardhouse,
South Circular Road,
Dublin 8
D08 KVY4

01 4547278

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