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Former Blackhall Place school  King’s Hospital celebrates 350 years

21 Jan 2019 / Law Society Print

Former Blackhall Place school King’s Hospital celebrates 350 years

The King’s Hospital School in Dublin, which was formerly based at the Law Society building in Blackhall Place, has celebrated 350 years in existence.

A service of celebration at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin was held on 20 January to mark the 350th anniversary of the school, which is one of the oldest in Ireland.

Former pupils include Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Charitable school

In 1671, a charitable school for boys of poor families was established, called the Hospital and Free School of King Charles II, Dublin. It became known as the King’s Hospital or Blue Coat School because of the boys’ military-style blue uniform.

In December 1783, the first boys moved into the Blackhall Place building designed by architect Thomas Ivory but never completed to his specification.

In 1894, the incomplete tower was removed and replaced by the present cupola. Blackhall Place remained the home of the Blue Coat School until 1968.

Renovations

The building was acquired by the Law Society in 1971 and, having completed substantial renovations, it was opened by then Taoiseach Jack Lynch as the headquarters of the solicitors’ profession in 1978.

Principal Mark Ronan said after the service yesterday that the fee-paying school has been an important part of the fabric of Irish life, with many former students going on to play significant roles in politics, business, the arts and sport.

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