Notable alumni of St Colman's College include:
Brigadier General Finn holds the appointment of Assistant Chief of Staff (Support) of the Defence Forces having assumed this post in April 2010 on his return from a 3-year secondment to the EU Council General Secretariat in Brussels. He is a native of Claremorris, Co.Mayo and a past-pupil of St Colmans College, Claremorris. He currently lives in the Navan Road, Dublin. He is married to Helen and they have one daughter and 2 sons. He enlisted as a cadet in the Defence Forces in 1970 and was appointed an officer of the Infantry Corps in 1972. He is a graduate of University College Galway and subsequently graduated with distinction from the Command and Staff Course in the Military College.
In the course of his career, Brigadier General Finn has filled a range of command and staff appointments mainly in the Eastern Brigade and Defence Forces Headquarters. These appointments include, having command of the 2nd Infantry Battalion & Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin in 2002/03 as well as holding key appointments in both the Operations and Support Branches of Defence Forces Headquarters, including periods in Operations, Administration and C&A Sections. On promotion to Colonel in 2005, he was appointed Director of the Strategic Planning Office within the Chief of Staffs Branch with responsibility for researching and providing strategic advice and plans to senior management of the Defence Forces and the Department of Defence.
Brigadier General Finn has served on three (3) occasions in Lebanon with UNIFIL as a Company Commander and Operations Officer of the Irish Battalion and as a staff officer in UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura. He served with UNTSO in 1993/1995, operating in the Golan Heights and later as Operations Officer, Observer Group Lebanon. In 2003 he was appointed as Commander of the 27th Irish Infantry Group within the NATO-led KFOR in Kosovo, this was the first infantry unit from the Defence Forces to serve under NATO command. On promotion to the rank of Brigadier General in March 2007, he was seconded to the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU in Brussels where he served as Director of Logistics in the EU Military Staff. His Directorate was responsible for providing strategic crisis response logistic planning and assessments for EU military and civilian operations and he was actively engaged in the early planning for the EUFOR Tchad/RCA operation, in which the Defence Forces played such an important role.
He has a keen interest in sports, particularly Gaelic Football and Rugby. He is a past Secretary and Chairman of Round Towers GAA Club in Clondalkin. He also enjoys reading, foreign travel and assisting his local community in any way he can.
Brigadier General Michael Finn
John Hegarty was born in Claremorris, County Mayo, and was educated at St. Colman’s College. He holds a BSc in Physics/Chemistry/Mathematics/Philosophy from St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, a H. Dip in Education also from Maynooth and a PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Following a postdoctoral stay at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he was a research scientist at Bell Labs, New Jersey for six years. He returned to Ireland in 1986 as Professor of Laser Physics in Trinity College. Producing over 140 publications and developing a number of patents, he was co-founder of Optronics Ireland and of campus company Eblana Photonics. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy, the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers and Fellow of the Institute of Physics.
Prior to becoming Provost, Mr. Hegarty was Dean of Research and Head of the Physics Department.
Provost John Hegarty
Patrick Rabbitte was born in 1949 near Claremorris and brought up in Woodstock, Ballindine, County Mayo. He attend University College Galway where he studied English. While at university Rabbitte became involved in several college movements before serving as President of the NUI, Galway Students' Union in 19701971. Between 1972 and 1974 he achieved national attention when he served as President of the national Union of Students in Ireland (USI).
Following the completion of his presidency in 1974 he became an official in the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU), becoming National Secretary for the union in 1980.
Rabbitte became involved in electoral politics for the first time in 1985 when he was elected to Dublin County Council. At the 1989 general election he was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Workers' Party TD for Dublin South West. He has retained his seat at every election since as a Workers' Party, then Democratic Left and now a Labour Party TD.
In 1994 a new Rainbow Coalition government of Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Democratic Left came to power. Rabbitte was a member of the junior ministerial team, serving as Minister of State to the Government, as well as Minister for State at the Department of Enterprise and Employment with responsibility for Commerce, Science and Technology. During his tenure as a junior minister Rabbitte was instrumental in establishing an anti-drugs strategy as well as enacting legislation which gave the Credit union movement more authority.
In October 2002 Rabbitte succeeded Ruairi Quinn as the new leader of the Labour Party. Under his leadership the party has made some gains in the local elections of 2004. Rabbitte has been described as an extremely good performer in the Dáil, often outshining his Fine Gael counterpart Enda Kenny. He is also noted for his anti-Fianna Fáil rhetoric.
Following the disappointing result in the election for Labour, Rabbitte announced he was stepping down as leader on the 23 August 2007. He said in his resignation statement. that he took responsibility for the outcome of the recent general election, in which his party failed to gain new seats and failed to replace the outgoing government. He was succeeded as party leader by Eamon Gilmore.Rabbitte was re-elected on the first count in the 2011 general election. His running mate Eamonn Maloney was also elected. On 9 March 2011, he was appointed as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
Sean McGrath joined the World Bank in March 2012 as Vice President of Human Resources.
Sean has had senior HR experience within global, European and Irish organizations—both private and public sector—where he gained a reputation as a change agent and implementer, adept at aligning the HR function with the business side.
After completing his secondary education in St. Colman’s College Sean started his career in the Irish Defence Forces and served on three different occasions in the Middle East with the United Nations Peacekeeping missions. He then led European Operations for a US manufacturing corporation with sites in Ireland and Poland, before joining EBS Building Society as their Head of Retail and Head of HR.
In his next position with the National Irish Bank, a subsidiary of Danske Banking Group, Sean held the position of HR Director and was a member of their executive management team. He then worked as Group HR Director for the Irish Health Service, where he led the largest workforce in Ireland with approximately 100,000 staff represented by over ten different public sector trade unions.
Sean is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Member of the British Academy of Management. He holds a BA from University College Galway, a Masters from Dublin City University, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Durham University in the UK.
Michael F. Walsh, President and CEO of DeCare (Delta Dental) International
Mr. Michael F. Walsh, has been Chief Executive Officer and President of DeCare Dental, LLC since 1987 and serves as its Executive Chairman. He served as the President of DeCare Dental at WellPoint Inc. from December 2009 to December 2012. He has been Consultant at WellPoint Inc. since December 2012. Mr. Walsh served as Chief Executive Officer and President of DeCare Dental, LLC. at WellPoint Inc. since 1987 and served as its Executive Chairman. He ... has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. He developed an aggressive business strategy to diversify and expand DeCare's dental business across the United States. In 1998, He established a software development company, DeCare Systems Ireland (DSI), in Cork. In 1999, He established a claims processing center in Claremorris, County Mayo, Ireland. Mr. Walsh served as an Assistant Vice President for the Blue Cross Association in Chicago and Empire BlueCross and BlueShield in New York as a divisional vice president, overseeing various aspects of the health/medical insurance business. He also taught at the University of Chicago and served on the adjunct faculty in the Graduate School of Business and Health Administration at New York University where he received the Professor of the Year award in 1986. He is on the board of Boston College and is a Member of the Minnesota Business Partnership, University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies, The American Ireland Fund, The American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland and the ICCUSA (Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the USA). He is a regular guest speaker at numerous colleges, universities, and industry conferences. He has been a guest speaker at Stanford and Harvard, and has also addressed A.M. Best's Annual Review and Preview Conference. Mr. Walsh holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce at University College Dublin (UCD) and a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Chicago. He is a past-pupil of St. Colman’s College.
The Smyth Brothers, Founders of “Smyth's Toys”
Smyth's Toys Superstores is a leading provider of children's toys and entertainment products with 61 stores throughout the UK and Ireland. The Irish superstore chain was founded c.1987, and is the largest toy retailer in Ireland, claiming to have 60% of the €320M market. It is a family-run company, with four Smyth's brothers (Anthony, Padraig, Liam and Thomas) running the business. In the year ending March 2006, Smyth's Toys Superstores employed 692 staff, had sales totalling €184M, and had profits of €6.2M, down from €11.7M the previous year. Ten years earlier, the company had just four stores and sales of €20 million. Smyth's Toys Superstores operates 58 stores in total, 22 stores in the Republic of Ireland, 6 in Northern Ireland and a further 30 in England, Scotland and Wales. The company is expanding heavily not just in Ireland but also in the U.K.
John Grant, CEO of Western Alzheimer’s Association
Dr. John McCallaig, Lecturer in the Quinn School of Business U.C.D.
Dr. Liam Weeks, Lecturer in Department of Government U.C.C. and co-author of “All Politics is Local”
Karl Boyle, Chief Executive Officer, Mountaineering Ireland
Richard Crowley, Prime Time Presenter for RTE
The Smyth Brothers, Founders of “Smyths' Toys”
Rickie O’ Neill, Lead Drummer with the Saw Doctors
Pat Rabbitte T.D.