St. Clement’s College is an all boys school of approximately 520 students located in Limerick City. St. Clement’s College was founded in October 1884 as a juniorate for the Redemptorist order.
Until recent times the religious orders and the Church felt it necessary to have their own special colleges in order to insure that they had sufficient supply of educated young men entering the seminaries. In the late nineteenth century there were few opportunities for education and in response to a need many diocesan colleges were established. As with St. Clement’s, many of these schools have had an illustrious history. The late nineteen sixties and early seventies were a time of systemic change in Irish society and the Catholic Church. The impact of The Vatican Council and the introduction of free education brought profound changes to St. Clement’s College.
The role and function of the Redemptorist in the school changed at the same time and as the social changes in Irish society and the growth of urbanisation resulted in an increased demand for school places, particularly in big industrial centres such as Limerick. The real test of the school’s capacity to adapt to the changing needs of society came in the nineteen seventies. It was a tribute to the foresight and relevance of the Redemptorist order that it decided at a Chapter convened in 1976 to convert St. Clement’s College into an open day school for boys.
That decision paved the way for a small boarding school of about one hundred students, staffed entirely by Redemptorist priests and brothers in the nineteen sixties to transform into an open day school of four hundred and fifty day pupils staffed almost entirely by lay teachers. Subjects such as physics, chemistry, accountancy, and computer studies replaced traditional Latin and Greek on the curriculum.
The pace of change gathered momentum with the appointment of a board of management to oversee the school on behalf of the Redemptorist order and the appointment of a lay principal in nineteen eighty nine.
The increase in student numbers put the existing infrastructure under severe strain and the board of management applied to the Department of Education and Science for a new school. This project was sanctioned in 2007 and the sod was turned in October of that year and completed in August 2008.
Thanks to the progressive foresight of the Redemptorist order an institution that was earmarked for extinction as a boarding school has become a centre of educational innovation, curriculum development and pastoral care where the intellectual, sporting and spiritual welfare of the student is sympathetically cared for.
St. Clements has accumulated over one hundred and thirty years of educational experience in the teaching of young boys and has forged a system of education that is somewhat unique in its method of caring for the student. We take tremendous pride in our system of pastoral care that places the care of the student at the centre of the institution and we look forward to responding to the needs of society but retaining the values that were fabricated from a long tradition of committed and reforming educationalists.