The name Stackallan resonates with the very origin of our unique pioneering school St.Columba’s College in 1843 and its original location in Stackallan House located in the north of County Meath. The name Stackallan is derived from the Irish Teach Challáin, the house of Saint Callan. Saint Callan was an Irish saint of the sixth century, famed for having his adversaries turned into stones. This is not an ability the current house staff use for pastoral or disciplinary purposes!
The College relocated to its current location in 1849. The ‘House system’ in its modern sense was introduced by Warden C.W.Sowby in 1934 and in 1939 a new boarding house called Stackallan was created. It was located in the Argyle building until 1973 when it moved into the Cadogan building.
In 2006 during the most recent phase of College building, Stackallan House reversed the trend of westward movement and returned to the Argyle building. The House now occupies the Upper and Middle Argyle building right in the geographical heart and centre of the College. In real terms this means above the Dining Hall and close to Cloisters and Chapel, saving valuable walking minutes during the working day.
Stackallan House currently is the home to 28 boarding pupils and ten day pupils. It has four house staff attached to it, all whom live on campus. It has a reputation for traditional values of honesty and integrity, and full involvement in all areas of college life: sport, music, drama and volunteering for charitable works.
The House has had three Housemasters since 1955. N.H. Lush 1955-1980; N.F.D.Falkiner, 1980-1997; and L.J. Canning 1997 until now. He was a member of the House in a time bridging both previous Housemasters, both of whom had formidable reputations as effective and caring Housemasters and were well-respected by their charges.
The Stackallan Team
Liam Canning has been the Housemaster of Stackallan since 1997. He lives on the college grounds with his wife Lyn and his two children Ross and Hollie, who both attended the College. He spent his formative years growing up in Asia and Africa in the school holidays and boarding in Headfort school, Kells, Co.Meath 1973-78 and then in Stackallan House in St Columba’s College 1978-82. He graduated from Dublin University, Trinity College and teaches English. He is also Director of Sport in the College and master in charge of cricket. He loves all sport and played international hockey for Ireland from 1986 to 1995. He enjoys reading, coaching indoor hockey, watching sport and walking his dogs.
Michael O’Shaughnessy grew up near Bray in north Wicklow. He is the Assistant Housemaster of Stackallan House. He attended Downside School in Somerset from 1983-88 and then studied Modern Languages at Hertford College, Oxford. He moved from London to St Columba’s in 2008. He is Head of Modern Languages (teaching French and Spanish) and Head of Careers. In his spare time he enjoys running (slowly), reading, travelling and gardening.
Andrew Mitchell is the resident house tutor of Stackallan. He was a pupil in the college from 2001-06 and was Head of Stackallan House in his final year. He is a science graduate of University College Dublin. He teaches science and mathematics in the College.He also coordinates athletics and coaches the senior rugby team.
Graham Dean lives on the campus with his wife Linda and is attached to Stackallan as a house tutor. He studied sports performance at the Sports Science Institute in Cape Town, subsequently graduating from St. Mary’s University (London) with an MSc in Strength & Conditioning. He moved to Ireland in 2009 and has been at St.Columba’s College since 2012. Graham is the newly appointed Head of Boys’ Sport and he also leads the College ‘Athletic Gymnastic Conditioning’ programme.