- IE IJA SC/GALW
- Corporate body
Since 1620 the Jesuits have, with some involuntary intermissions, been working in Galway. In 1645 our first school was founded through the generosity of Edmund Kirwan. The school, incorporated it seems into a Jesuit residence in the present Abbeygate St, survived and flourished although it had been established at a time of political upheaval and military activity. After the surrender of Galway to the Cromwellian forces in 1652, the Jesuits tried to maintain contact with the people of the area, and there is reference in 1658 to three members of the Society living secretly in County Galway. Jesuits returned openly to Galway after the Restoration of Charles II, but were banished again by Williamite forces in 1691. Once more they made a comeback in 1728 and for forty years they worked among the people of Galway. Sadly, a decrease in manpower forced the withdrawal of the “Mission” in 1768.
In 1859, at the request of the Bishop, members of the Order once more took up residence in the city, this time in Prospect Hill and served in St Patrick’s Church. Within a year they had opened a college near the site of the present Bank of Ireland at 19 Eyre Square. The college’s present location on Sea Road dates from 1863. The modern phase of Coláiste Iognáid began in 1929. The local enthusiasm for the language revival efforts of the emerging State was to be served by a re-invigorated Coláiste Iognáid, which became an Irish-medium School in 1931.
The college now is a co-educational, bilingual, non-fee-paying secondary school.