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St Killian’s, an all ability school, will cater for 830 pupils, with an admissions number for Year 8 of 140, will operate from the former St MacNissi’s College site at Garron Tower and the former St Comgall’s College site in Larne. Pupils from Cushendall’s St Aloysius’ College have been attending St MacNissi’s for this academic year. The school will be a co-educational 11- 18 college providing access to the highest quality educational provision for all the young people in the Glens and East Antrim area.

The school is named after St Killian, an Irish saint who travelled with St Colman and St Totnan to modern day Bavaria where they led the conversion of much of the local population to Christianity. St Killian’s Day is celebrated on July 8th. Killian was chosen because of local connections with the area. St Killian was the patron of a church in the Glenariffe parish

The school’s new motto, Caritas et Veritas, meaning ‘Love and Truth’ reflects the values of the new school, and those which it will impart to its students. The school will offer a wide and varied curriculum, including 24 subjects at GCSE and 27 subjects at A Level.

The school’s new principal is Jonny Brady, former Principal at St Paul’s College Kilrea. Speaking on the school’s first day, he said:

“The opening of St Killian’s College is the start of a new era for education in the Glens and East Antrim. The school will cater for students from a wide catchment area and will offer a broad range of subjects which will cater for the interests of all those attending the College.

“One of our greatest ambitions is that all children at St Killian’s will be happy. A happy child is a child who is confident in their own ability, ambitions and dreams for the future. They will, as a result, achieve their full potential in whatever walk of life that they choose. St Killian’s will be a centre of excellence in all that we as a community will strive to create. Initially St Killian’s will be based on two sites but we are currently in negotiations with the Department of Education to ensure that this is for as minimum a time as possible.”

“The school’s new uniform will be rolled out from September. Our Board of Governors will provide a subsidy to those requiring a new uniform and we are negotiating with suppliers so they match our subsidy. Our distinctive badge is one that was designed by our students and we are very proud of it. I look forward to building relationships with our parents and the wider community to ensure that St Killian’s is a true community college.” he added.

Bishop Donal McKeown, who will Chair the new school’s Board of Governors said:

“The opening of St Killian’s has been the result of many years of work and consultation with those with a stake in the provision of post-primary education in this area. I would like to thank the Principals and Governors of each of the three schools for their unfettered commitment to ensuring that post-primary education in the area remains fit for purpose and ready for the challenges of the twenty-first century.

“Central to the Catholic ethos is the provision of high quality education for all pupils and the opening of St Killian’s will ensure that no child loses out due to geography or demographics,” he added.