Coleraine Academical Institution
Coleraine Academical Institution (CAI), styled locally as Coleraine Inst, is a voluntary grammar school
Grammar school
A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching classical languages but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school.The original purpose of mediaeval...

 for boys, situated in Coleraine
Coleraine is a large town near the mouth of the River Bann in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is northwest of Belfast and east of Derry, both of which are linked by major roads and railway connections...

, County Londonderry
County Londonderry
The place name Derry is an anglicisation of the old Irish Daire meaning oak-grove or oak-wood. As with the city, its name is subject to the Derry/Londonderry name dispute, with the form Derry preferred by nationalists and Londonderry preferred by unionists...

, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...


Coleraine Academical Institution occupies a 70 acres (283,280.2 m²) site on the Castlerock Road, where it was originally founded in 1860. It was, for many years, a boarding school
Boarding school
A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals...

 until the boarding department closed in 1999. It is one of eight Northern Irish schools represented on the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference
Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference
The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference is an association of the headmasters or headmistressess of 243 leading day and boarding independent schools in the United Kingdom, Crown Dependencies and the Republic of Ireland...

 (HMC). The school has an enrollment of just under 700 pupils, aged 11–19, as of 2009. The school is generally regarded for its high academic standards and extensive sporting facilities, including 33 acres (133,546.4 m²) playing fields, indoor swimming pool, boat house, rugby pavilion, sports pavilion and gymnasium. The school has an extensive past pupil organisation, "The Coleraine Old Boys' Association", which has several branches across the world.

Coleraine Inst is nine times winner of the Ulster Schools Cup
Ulster Schools Cup
The Ulster Schools' Challenge Cup is an annual competition involving schools affiliated to the Ulster Branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union. The Schools' Cup has the distinction of being the world's second-oldest rugby competition, having been competed for every year since 1876...

,. the world's second oldest rugby competition. The school has competed in the competition every year since 1876.


Over the years the school has had a remarkable continuity of leadership, with nine headmasters spanning the school's existence of nearly 150 years.
  • (1860–1870) Alex Waugh Young was CAI's founding principal and very little is known of him.
  • (1870–1915) T.G. Houston served the school for 45 years, enjoying a long retirement in Portstewart until his death in 1939 at the age of 96.
  • (1915–1927) Thomas James Beare – affectionately known as “Tommy John” – had a rather shorter tenure in office, until his premature retirement on health grounds in 1927.
  • (1927–1955) Major William White – “The Chief” to generations of boys who both admired and feared him.
  • (1955–1979) Dr George Humphreys, by whom the major physical expansion of the school was guided. Previously on the staff at Campbell College, Belfast, it was during his Headmastership that Inst became an H.M.C. school.
  • (1979–1984) Dr Robert J. Rodgers, former headmaster of Bangor Grammar School, was headmaster of Inst until his appointment as Principal of Stranmillis Training College, Belfast.
  • (1984–2003) R. Stanley Forsythe was appointed following a ten year period as headmaster of The Royal School, Dungannon and remained in post until retirement.
  • (2004–2007) Leonard F. Quigg was the first headmaster in the school’s history to have been promoted 'from within the ranks'. Quigg served as an assistant master, Head of English, Senior Master, as both junior and senior Vice Principal before his appointment as headmaster in January 2004. Mr Quigg retired in 2007.
  • (2007 - )Dr David Carruthers is CAI's current headmaster. He was previously the Head of Mathematics at Royal Belfast Academical Institution
    Royal Belfast Academical Institution
    The Royal Belfast Academical Institution, is a Grammar School in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Locally referred to as Inst, the school educates boys from ages 11–18...


School houses

School houses are named after former masters and play little, if any, part in everyday life in the school. The main event of the year for house competitions is the annual Sports Day. The houses are:
  • White

  • Hunter

  • Clarke

  • Houston


Much importance is placed upon the neatness of boys' appearance. School colours are maroon, white and navy. Uniform consists of the standard school blazer, standard black flannels, grey shirt (for years 8, 9 and 10) or white shirt (for years 11 to 14); the school tie and a light grey v-necked pullover (although boys in Years 13 and 14 may wear a navy pullover).

Honours system

As a boy progresses through the school, he can earn honours through excellence in sport and/or the arts. There are Junior Colours, allowing a boy in the junior years to wear a junior colours tie, and Senior Colours for boys in the senior years (year 11 to year 14). In addition, there are honours blazers. These are awarded to boys in the sixth form who have contributed significantly to the school through sport or the arts. A pupil gaining such honours is entitled to wear a blue honours blazer. There are also Representative Honours for pupils who have represented the school in National or International finals. This is also a blue honours blazer, but with the representation stitched below the CAI crest.

Recent achievements

A team of five upper sixth boys from the school called "Team FUGA" competed in the F1 in Schools
F1 In Schools
F1 in Schools is an international competition for school children , in which groups of 3 - 6 children have to design and manufacture a miniature "car" out of balsa wood using CAD/CAM design tools. The cars are powered by CO2 cartridges and are attached to a track by a thin wire...

 competition, and won the international finals in 2007, meriting a second team competing in the Malaysian World Championships the following year.

At the annual Coleraine Sports Council Awards Dinner 2008, the previous year's CAI Junior 18 Quad were winners of the Junior Team Award. CAI head rowing coach, Bobby Platt (MBE), received the Coach of the Year Award. CAI's three 'old boys' who rowed at the Beijing Olympics: Richard Archibald, Alan Campbell and Richard Chambers, all collected Chairman's Awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements.

Coleraine Academical Institution continues to send its sportsmen to participate in rugby and rowing teams representing both Ulster and Ireland; a long-standing achievement of the school.

The school debating team won the Northern Ireland Schools Debating Competition
Northern Ireland Schools Debating Competition
The Northern Ireland Schools Debating Competition is an annual competition involving schools from across Northern Ireland. It was founded in 1993 by Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle CBE during her time as Chairman of the Belfast Civic Trust. The final of the competition is held every year in the Senate...

 in 1995 and were runners-up in 2006.

Notable alumni

  • John Bodkin Adams
    John Bodkin Adams
    John Bodkin Adams was an Irish-born British general practitioner, convicted fraudster and suspected serial killer. Between the years 1946 and 1956, more than 160 of his patients died in suspicious circumstances. Of these, 132 left him money or items in their will. He was tried and acquitted for...

    , suspected serial killer
    Serial killer
    A serial killer, as typically defined, is an individual who has murdered three or more people over a period of more than a month, with down time between the murders, and whose motivation for killing is usually based on psychological gratification...

  • Roger Anderson, former Ulster rugby union player
  • Richard Archibald, 2004 and 2008 Olympic rower
  • Sir Dawson Bates, 1st Baronet, politician
  • William Wylie , Took part in the defence of the Trinty university during the 1916 Dublin rising. He was subsequently appointed prosecuting officer at the trial of the leaders of the rising.
  • Air Marshal
    Air Marshal
    Air marshal is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

     Sir George Beamish
    George Beamish
    Air Marshal Sir George Robert Beamish, KCB, CBE, RAF was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force from the Second World War to his retirement in the late 1950s...

  • David Burnside
    David Burnside
    David Wilson Boyd Burnside is a Northern Ireland politician, and was Ulster Unionist Party Member of Parliament for South Antrim....

    , Ulster Unionist Party
    Ulster Unionist Party
    The Ulster Unionist Party – sometimes referred to as the Official Unionist Party or, in a historic sense, simply the Unionist Party – is the more moderate of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland...

     MLA and former MP
    Member of Parliament
    A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

  • Alan Campbell
    Alan Campbell (sculler)
    Alan Campbell is a British scullerCampbell started rowing for his school, Coleraine Academical Institution for Boys, in Northern Ireland before moving to London and joining the Tideway Scullers School....

    , 2004 and 2008 Olympic rower, 2006 world champion, 2007 Henley diamond scull winner
  • Mark Carruthers
    Mark Carruthers
    Mark Carruthers OBE is a Northern Irish broadcaster and journalist, from Derry. He currently presents a number of television and radio programmes for BBC Northern Ireland.-Broadcasting work :...

    , TV presenter/personality
  • Richard Chambers
    Richard Chambers (rower)
    Richard Scott Chambers is a British rower.Richard began rowing at the age of 14, at Coleraine Academical Institution, under the coaching of Bobby Platt MBE. He competed for Ireland as a junior at the 2003 Home Countries in Cork. He then attended Oxford Brookes University reading Construction...

    , 2007 World Champion and 2008 Olympic Rower rower
  • John Clarke Davison
    John Clarke Davison
    John Clarke Davison was a barrister and Unionist politician in Northern Ireland.Davison was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution and Trinity College, Dublin and was called to the Irish Bar in 1898. He was a legal adviser to the Government of Northern Ireland from 1922-1925, and Senior...

    , Ulster Unionist Party
    Ulster Unionist Party
    The Ulster Unionist Party – sometimes referred to as the Official Unionist Party or, in a historic sense, simply the Unionist Party – is the more moderate of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland...

  • Stephen Feeney World Cup 2009 Rower.
  • Barry Hunter, former Northern Ireland international footballer
  • David McClarty
    David McClarty
    Councillor David McClarty, MLA is an Independent Unionist politician from Northern Ireland.He is from Coleraine and was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution and Magee College...

    , UUP MLA for Londonderry East
  • Graeme McDowell
    Graeme McDowell
    Graeme McDowell MBE is a Northern Irish professional golfer.McDowell has won seven events on the European Tour, including the 2010 U.S. Open which was also his first win on the PGA Tour...

    , Ryder Cup
    Ryder Cup
    The Ryder Cup is a biennial golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is jointly administered by the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour, and is contested every two years, the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe...

  • G.R.C. McDowell CBE FIET, chairman of the British Standards Institution from 1985 until 1988
  • James Nesbitt
    James Nesbitt
    James Nesbitt is a Northern Irish actor. Born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Nesbitt grew up in the nearby village of Broughshane, before moving to Coleraine, County Londonderry. He wanted to become a teacher like his father, so he began a degree in French at the University of Ulster...

    , film and TV actor
  • David Hedges, Emmy-nominated TV producer, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
  • Jim Shannon
    Jim Shannon
    Richard James Shannon is a unionist politician from Northern Ireland.-Early life:Shannon was educated at Ballywalter Primary School and Coleraine Academical Institution. He was in the Ulster Defence Regiment in 1973-75 and 1976–77 and was awarded the General Service Medal. He served in the Royal...

    , Democratic Unionist Party
    Democratic Unionist Party
    The Democratic Unionist Party is the larger of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland. Founded by Ian Paisley and currently led by Peter Robinson, it is currently the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the fourth-largest party in the House of Commons of the...

     MLA for Strangford
  • James Stewart
    James Stewart (solicitor)
    James Stewart , is a London based solicitor and collaborative lawyer, who acts for celebrities and others in often high-profile and international divorce and family law cases. A partner at Manches, he is top ranked in the Legal 500, Spears WMS Legal Index and in Chambers UK 2011...

    , celebrity divorce lawyer one of four family lawyers responsible for bringing Collaborative Divorce first to England, and then to all of Europe
  • Andrew Trimble
    Andrew Trimble
    Andrew Trimble is an Irish rugby union footballer from Coleraine, County Londonderry in Northern Ireland.- Club career :He attended Coleraine Academical Institution, where he competed in the Ulster Schools Cup....

    , rugby union
    Rugby union
    Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

  • Gary Watton, prolific non-fiction writer
  • Davy Patton, Stuart Clanachan and Howard Beverland, Coleraine FC footballers
  • Alan McMichael, Academic

External links

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