St. Colmcille’s Boys’ National School, Chapel Lane, Swords, Co.Dublin K67 WP65

(01) 8405132

St Colmcille's BNS

Ní neart go cur le chéile


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 Junior Infants 2021-22: Places have been offered to parents of Junior Infants starting in September 2021. There are a small number of places still available. Please phone or email the school office for more information.

Congratulations to the children who entered Fingal County Council's Home Parade Competition. 

 We had two winning entries! 

Congratulations to the boys and their siblings for ceating fantastic home parades!

Well done boys!

Well done to Cónal and his sisters for their winning entry! (below)




Seachtain na Gaeilge & St. Patrick's Day Art

Recently, we celebrated Seachtain na Gaeilge and St. Patrick's Day and the boys designed and drew some amazing pieces of art to celebrate both occasions. Maith sibh!

News from Ms. Mckenna's 1st Class 

Our boys enjoyed the fine weather and practising The Walls of Limerick dance outside! 


Monday 7th December 2020 marks the beginning of Colmcille 1500, a year-long commemoration of 1500 years since the birth of St. Columba and of his legacy. The year will begin and end on the 7th December, the traditional birthday of St  Colmcille.


  • St Colmcille was born in Gartan in Co. Donegal in the year 521A.D.
  • He was christened Criomhthann.
  • Children used to call him ‘Colmcille’ with means ‘Dove of the church’.
  • The priest who fostered Colmcille thought that it was God’s will that he be called ‘Colmcille’ and so his name was changed.
  • Colmcille was the great-great grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages.
  • Niall of the Nine Hostages was the one who captured and brought St. Patrick to Ireland as a slave.
  • St Colmcille was sent to Moville where St. Finnian had a Monastery.
  • Colmcille studied poetry there under Gemman.
  • He was ordained a priest in Clonard Co. Meath.
  • After this he spent some time in the monastery of St. Mobhi in Glasnevin.
  • He returned to Donegal and was given some land on the banks of the Foyle and on this land he built his first monastery, ‘Doire Cholmcille.’
  • After seven years Colmcille set about founding monasteries in Kells , Durrow and lambay 

 St Colmcille in Swords

  • In 560A.D. St Colmcille came to Swords and founded a monastery on the site where St Columba’s church is today.
  • While in Swords, St Colmcille was said to have stepped from the Round Tower to the well at the end of the road. When his feet touched the ground a well sprang up and St Colmcille’s toe prints are said to be still visible on the last step leading down into the well.

St Colmcille and St Finian

  • St Finnian lent Colmcille a book of psalms and Colmcille copied it without St Finnian’s permission. St Finnian wanted to get the book back from St Colmcille but he refused to return it to him.
  • They went to king Diarmaid to settle the dispute.
  • King Diarmaid said “with every book its own book as with every cow her calf”.
  • This meant that St Colmcille had to give the book back and he was furious with the decision.
  • St Colmcille’s family went into battle against king Diarmaid. Colmcille got involved in this battle because of his hatred of Diarmaid as a result of his ruling on the book.
  • This battle was called the battle of Cooldriona.
  • 3,000 people died during the battle.
  • It was after this battle that St Colmcille went to Iona. He was going to try and save as many souls as had died in the Battle of Cooldriona.
  • After the battle of Cooldriona, St Colmcille felt so terrible that three thousand people had died because of him that he left and set sail for Iona with twelve monks.

  • In Iona he had “little food, some sleep, early morning rising, frequent prayer, study, work and visiting departed friends in graveyards”. This was how he summed up his life. He only returned to Ireland for the convention of Drumceat and he died on the ninth of June in 597 A.D. in Iona. 

  • He was brought back to Ireland and is buried in Downpatrick.

Interesting Facts about St Colmcille

  • The village of Colmcille in Longford is home to Anne Reilly Gibson (Mother of Mel Gibson) and Oliver Goldsmith (Writer).
  • One of the traditions on St Colmcille’s Feast Day is that people wear the Oak leaf in his honour.
  • He is one of the Patron Saints of Ireland as well as the Patron Saint of floods and bookbinders.
  • He is thought to have written over 300 books.
  • Aer lingus have a plane called ‘Colmcille’.
  • He died in 597. He collapsed before the alter of the church in Iona and his last words were:

Raise my hand, that I may bless my monks.

Higher still that I may bless the land of Erin and all I

Love there, my oakgrove and my children”.

The birthplace of St Colmcille, Gartan in County Donegal.