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St. Kieran's College was founded (not at the current site) in 1782 as a Diocesan School for Catholics. Over the following years, it was a various sites including Burrell's Hall - now the site of St. Mary's Cathedral, the Granges Road and Birchfield. The current building was built betwwen 1811 and 1845. The architect was William Deane Butler who also designed St. Mary's Cathedral. It incorporated neo-Tudor and Victorain Gothic elements popular at the time.
Past teachers include the 1916 leader, Thomas McDonagh and students included the author Thomas Kilroy.
The College originally combined a Catholic Seminary, as well as both boarders and day students. The Seminary closed in 1994, boarding ceased in 2003. The College is also famous for its sporting traditions and its contribution to Kilkenny Hurling.