Ex-Rugby and Athletics International, Gary Halpin returns to Ireland for key role in Tipperary Boarding School

Major ‘pre-season’ signing for Cistercian College as new Head of Boarding appointed

The Board of Management of Cistercian College Roscrea (CCR) are delighted to announce the appointment of Mr. Gary Halpin as the new Head of Boarding.

Mr. Halpin is a highly experienced educator having spent 16 years in management positions in top schools in the UK.  He has been appointed to this key role, to be part of the Cistercian College Roscrea Leadership Team and he will lead the Pastoral Care Management Strategy in the College. He is expected to start later in the 2017-18 Academic year.  The announcement continues the positive news surrounding the school, following the start of the new Board of Management’s work in April.

Mr. Halpin is better known as an Irish Rugby & Athletics International in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  Educated at Rockwell College, where he won four Irish Schools rugby caps, he travelled to the US on an Athletics scholarship to the University of Manhattan, where he won the American Indoor Collegiate Championship in the Hammer, before going on to represent Ireland in the 1987 World Athletics Championship.

Upon returning to Ireland in 1989, he resumed his Rugby career, joining Dublin club Wanderers FC, making his full international debut twelve months later when lining out at tighthead prop against England at Twickenham. He subsequently joined London Irish and was a key member of the Irish team at the World Cup in South Africa in 1995, wearing the No. 3 shirt against New Zealand, Wales and France. He scored his one and only try against the All Blacks at Ellis Park in Ireland’s tournament opener.

Having taught at St George’s College, Weybridge before taking a break to sample professional rugby, he went on to teach and coach rugby at the Oratory School, where he was also a Housemaster. Since 2008, Mr. Halpin has been a Head of House and 1st XV Rugby coach at Saint David’s House in Christ College Brecon, a Boarding School with 400 pupils in Mid Wales.

Speaking today, Chairman of the Board of Management Ronnie Culliton said “On behalf of the Trustees and the Board of Management, I am delighted to welcome Gary as our new Head of Boarding.  In Gary we believe we have appointed someone with exemplary educational and sports experience, as well as a leader and person of the highest calibre. We look forward to having him and his family join us later this year to build on our work to further develop CCR as an outstanding option for parents and pupils looking for a high quality education across 7 Day, 5 Day and Day Boarding options.”

Regarding the opportunity, Mr. Halpin said “I’d like to thank Ronnie and the Board of Management in Cistercian College Roscrea for appointing me to the Head of Boarding role.  As a former Rockwell College student, my association with CCR dates back to the mid 80’s. In particular, the annual Rugby games and the Triangular Sports Athletics fixture evokes a cascade of fond memories. Not surprisingly I look forward to getting involved in Sport at CCR. Additionally, I’m looking forward to working with the Board, the Management team, the Staff, the Parents, the Pupils, the Monastic Community and all key stakeholders involved in the tremendous work done with the school in recent times. Having worked as a Housemaster for 17 years, I am confident this experience will guide me as I embark on my new role and I feel privileged to be given the opportunity of guiding the boarding community at CCR in these exciting times of new development.”

Notes to Editors: 

Cistercian College Roscrea (CCR) is a leading Catholic educator in the Cistercian/Benedictine tradition. It is a fee-charging Boarding School for boys run by the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists) and situated in the grounds of Mount St Joseph Abbey on the Tipperary/Offaly border. Founded in 1905, the College has been educating students for 112 years.

The College motto ‘Insideat coelis animo sed corpore terris’ invites staff and students to strive always for the higher things, while remaining conscious of earthly matters. As a monastic school, Cistercian College Roscrea aims to nurture all students in a holistic and balanced educational environment where they are each encouraged and guided to reach their full potential.

CCR has an excellent academic record. In the 2017 league tables, the Sunday Independent said “Cistercian College in Roscrea, Co Tipperary is the fifth best school on the list with all of its 338 former pupils securing College places in the past eight years – with 71pc placed in Universities.

CCR also has a strong sporting tradition, winning the Leinster Rugby Schools Senior Cup and the All Ireland Hurling C Championship in recent years.

Earlier in 2018, the Trustees, who are the Cistercian Order of Mount St Joseph Abbey, announced the closure of the College. After a very successful campaign by parents and past pupils, €1.8M was raised to save the school. Following the development of a new model, it now offers 7 day, 5 day and day boarding. The School has launched a Scholarship Scheme for new students starting in September 2017, with the programme set to continue for future years following the generosity of several donors.

At present, the Board of Management are actively recruiting a new Principal to spearhead the academic side of the College in addition to all other areas of responsibility.


The Finest

Author: The Finest

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