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Somehow you want me to link Thomas Cooley, 18th century architect of the Royal Exchange and Blue Coat School to 20th century muscian Paul Hewson aka ‘Bono’? Difficult … it’ll be tenuous you know … really really tenuous but … but yes, I think it’s possible.

It was announced in the Freeman’s Journal on the 28th June 1766 that “the Governors of the new charitable institution of an Hibernian Nursery for the Marine have taken a house at Ringsend”. 19 Marine School, Dublin. Looking up the Liffey. June 1796
James Malton’s “Marine School, Dublin. Looking up
the Liffey. June 1796”
The school, echoing a similar one in London, was intended to school and house orphans and children of mariners. The school, initially funded by Dublin merchants, ship owners and a 3p tax on the monthly wages of Dublin sailors, was later by Parliamentary funds.  It soon found itself outgrowing it’s building in Ringsend and land was leased at John Rogerson’s Quay for a new, purpose built, building. Designed by Thomas Cooley it was completed in 1773. James Malton incorrectly attributed the buildings design to Thomas Ivory.

The school appears to have been poorly and inefficiently run coming in for harse criticisms for the quality of it’s education of the children and an increasing number of students running away. In 1872 a fire gutted the building and the school moved to Upper Merrion Street. The building itself became offices for the British and Irish Steam Packet Company before being abandoned. The remains of the building were destroyed in 1979 – one of the two buildings in James Maltons book to no longer exist. Probably the closest major feature today to where the the school was located is the Samuel Beckett Bridge.

Pardon? The link between Cooley and Bono? Oh, it’s really not worth it but if you must have it. In 1968 the Marine and Mountjoy Schools merged to form the creatively named Mountjoy & Marine School. Four years later this school merged with the Bertrand & Rutland School to form the Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Clontarf where, in 1976, a 14 year old student called Larry Mullen posted a notice looking for fellow musicians to form a new band he was setting up.  I did mention this was going to be tenuous right?

19 Marine School
magnify-clipSamuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin, August 2013

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