About St Marcartan’s College

stmacs-logoThe crest of St. Macartan’s College, as seen in the front hall of the school, was designed by the artist Richard J. King, for the centenary celebrations of 1940. It is modelled on the front panels of the circular boss at the Clogher Cross,the 14th-century treasure, now on loan from the Diocese of Clogher to the Monaghan County Museum. The panels contain the interlaced letters DEUS(God), and, underneath, the motto of the College, Fortis et Fidelis. There is also a sculptural installation based around the crest on the front lawn in front of the 1840 school building.

The words “ Fortis et Fidelis” suggest a Pauline quotation from 1 Cor 16:13: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith: be men of courage, be strong.”

They evoke the legend of St. Mac Cairthinn, the tréanfhear of Patrick, the bodyguard and champion of the Saint who used to carry him across fords and rivers on his missionary journeys. The words occur in one of the last letters of Father Cornelius Tierney, a former student and priest-teacher in St. Macartan’s, and later a Columban missionary who died a prisoner of Communist guerillas in China in 1931.

History of St. Macartan’s College

The foundation stone for St. Macartan’s College was laid on 8th July, 1840. Eight years later “The Sem” opened its doors to its first students, and for over a century and a half the school has adapted itself to meet the educational needs of boys in the North Monaghan and surrounding areas. Formerly, it was predominantly a boarding school but today it is a modern post-primary school, catering to its over 700 students.


St.Macartan’s endeavours to provide a wide range of subjects for both the Junior and Leaving Certificates. Each student, in consultation with his parents and teachers, decides on the subjects which best suit his interests and abilities. Some subjects, however, still compulsory for most of the student population. These include; Religion, English, Irish and Maths at all levels of education.


St. Macartan’s offers a wide variety of sports and competes in the Ulster Colleges Gaelic football MacRory Cup, the Rannafast Cup, Corn na Og, Brock Cup, Dalton Cup and Nannery Cup. St. Macatran’s has active programmmes in golf, soccer, handball, basketball and athletics.

Student Council

St. Macartan’s has an active student council where members are elected to represent the views of the student body and to communicate these to the management and teachers of the college.

On our website you will find links to find the latest news in St. Macartans College. We hope that our web site will develop into an exciting means of communication with our friends, old and new. Let us know about material you would like included. We particularly value input from our Past Pupils. What work are you doing? What would you like to know about “the Sem” as it is today??