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Past Pupils

Past pupils

As we pause in this significant year to reflect on the past and plan for the future, The King’s Hospital would like to pay tribute to all the students and staff we have encountered throughout our history.

We are immensely proud of our past pupils, many of whom have been extremely successful in a variety of areas including politics, business, academia, sport, the arts and entertainment.

As we acknowledge and salute some of our past pupils’ achievements, we are incredibly confident that we have much more to give in the years to come.

Messages from past pupils

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD

I have always thought that the best schools are really small communities made up students, staff, parents and past pupils. King’s Hospital is a great school. It provides an environment where students are encouraged to reach their full potential, both inside and outside of the classroom, and I will always be grateful for the education I received and the role it played in my life.

My own days in KH were very happy. I loved being challenged academically as well as being given the opportunity to try different things. I enjoyed debating – a skill that proved useful in later life – and won the Anderson medal for oratory in my final year.

I also got my first taste for politics when I was elected to the student council and I learned a lot from serving on it.

My one regret is that I didn’t get more involved in sports. I played a little bit of rugby and did some rowing, but I was mainly focused on my books!

History was one of my favourite subjects, and it gave me an insight into the political challenges of the past, as well as how to think about the future.

King’s Hospital should be proud of its history. On this, your 350th anniversary, I want to congratulate you on your resilience and various successes throughout the centuries. I believe you can look forward to a future full of promise.

Kathryn Thomas, Radio & TV broadcaster

What an incredible milestone celebration for the King’s Hospital, with hopefully many more to come.

I loved every bit of my time there and I really believe it helped shape the person I am today. 

Boarding there gave me a great sense of independence and I learnt how to look after myself as well as look out for myself and others all living away from home.

I got to meet people from different backgrounds from the four corners of Ireland and the rest of the world.

There was great camaraderie and my school friends are still my best friends to this day.

Sport was a huge part of my curriculum and speech and drama with Mrs King was always my favourite part of the week.

Like every teenager, I had ups and downs (ahhhhem!) but I have no doubt leaving school happy and confident allowed me out into the world to forge the career I have today. Happy birthday King’s Hospital!

(Image: Barry McCall)

Jonathan Coleman, Professor of Chemical Physics, Trinity College Dublin

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate King’s Hospital on reaching 350 years as one of Ireland’s premier schools. What a milestone!

I spent six very happy years in KH from 1985 to 1991.

Looking back, I remember the wide open spaces, the fine facilities, great teachers and of course wonderful friends, many of which I still see.

One teacher in particular, Dave Clark, taught me physics and instilled in me a love for this subject which has never left me. I am now professor of chemical physics in TCD and am certain I would not have made it to where I am today without his encouragement, insight and creativity.

Dave begged, borrowed or built the most wonderful experiments that allowed us to get to the heart of all aspects of physics. It was only later I realised that very few secondary school students had received such cutting-edge tuition.

I will always be grateful to him and all at KH for preparing me so well for the big bad world outside Palmerstown.

Louise Scott, KHPPU President in 2019

The King’s Hospital Past Pupils Union (KHPPU) is excited to join the celebrations for KH350 in 2019. 

The school was an integral part of the teenage years of each past pupil’s life. It moulded us during our formative years, whether a boarder or day pupil. With the extensive facilities, numerous extra-curricular activities, sports and Church of Ireland ethos, the school's influence is immeasurable.

I have many great memories from my own time at KH, as a boarder in the 1990s, which I have been recalling as I write this short note.

Some of my favourites are:

The camaraderie between the boarders, my music lessons and being a member of the chapel choir.

The chapel was always the centre of school life. 

School plays, musicals and the school talent shows. Rugby matches with everyone singing their support for the senior team in a cup match.

I enjoyed playing many sports too – I loved badminton and swimming in the pool.

Then, the smell of the freshly cut grass in the summer term, playing rounders and cricket.

The “hop” at the end of term in the recreation room and later in the old gym. The special annual Christmas dinner in the dining hall with everyone dressed up.

I also remember Prep and the excitement of finishing our summer exams!

Great memories of a great school. Happy 350th birthday!