The school began as St. Joseph’s Private Preparatory School in September 1965. It consisted of two prefab classrooms, a recreation room and an office, There were about 40 pupils altogether in standards 2 to 5. The prefab school was sited on the Clonkeen road side of the present grounds, behind what is now the Texaco Garage. Some of the original prefabs now act as extra dressing rooms having been transferred to the other side of the grounds.
The original staff consisted of Br. Nixon, as principal of the new school, Br. Michael Murray and Br. Liam Bracken. But the man most linked to the preparatory school was Br. Long, a quiet spoken efficient Kerryman who became principal in 1967 upon death in his classroom of Br. John Halahan. He remained principal until its closure in 1975. He then transferred to Monkstown junior school.
The Secondary School
The building of the new secondary school and hall began in 1967. It consisted of the main present school buildings, although some extensions have been added since. The first pupils were admitted in the autumn of 1967 – about 70 in number. The principal was Br. Joe Hogan R.I.P. and he was later assisted by Br. Joe Collins and Br. Oliver McGrath. The other principals were Br. Collins, Br. Crothy, Br. Higgins, and presently Mr Healy.
In 1970 the first Intermediate Certificate class consisting of 19 pupils sat their exams. 1972 saw the first Leaving Certificate class, all 12 of whom were successful.
Mr. David Andrews T.D. who was Parliamentary Secretary (now called Junior Minister) to the Taoiseach at the time officially opened the school on January 31st 1972, and His Grace Archbishop McQuaid of Dublin blessed it. The weather was cold and snowy, so many of the invited guests were unable to attend on that occasion. Numbers grew bit by bit. In 1972/3 there were 215 in the secondary school but by 1978/9 it had reached 420. This was due in large measure to the new housing estates in Johnstown and Watsons, housing many families with children of school going age. This number and higher has been maintained by the school since.
Academic standards were always a priority aim and sporting standards rose over the years as the numbers increased. Gaelic football and soccer have developed as the main team sports, along with hurling, badminton, athletics, tennis, golf and basketball.
Indeed the first team success was in basketball in 73/74. The first Gaelic success was in the 75/76 season when two Dublin titles were won. Among the successful team was Tommy Lyons, now manager of the Offaly senior team. Many successes have followed since. Soccer made its big break through in 81/82 when Clonkeen were Leinster Junior Champions,. and All Ireland runners-up. Sport in the school continues to thrive.