The plaque in The Irish Society’s buildings in Beresford Place along with the Society’s official history give 1705 as the date of the foundation of the first school. There is evidence to suggest however that the Irish Society maintained a school in Coleraine from the early seventeenth century. A free school was in existence by 1679 when the Society agreed that “William Moute should keep school in the middle room of the Court House free, keeping it in repair and giving security not to damage the Court House.”
Records indicate that in 1812 a new school was built on the Commons in what is now Beresford Place and in the years 1867-69 the red-brick building presently facing Beresford Place was erected.
In the years 1933-35 The Irish Society extended and modernised the buildings at Beresford Place and these were re-opened officially by Viscount Craigavon, D.D., Prime Minister of Northern Ireland on 17 July 1935. The official history says “the school was maintained and liberally supported by The Society until the year 1948 when it was taken over by the local Education Authority under the Northern Ireland Education Act of 1947.” The Society, however, maintain its interest in the school and as well as having the right to nominate members to the Board of Governors, continued its visitations to the annual Prize Day.
In February 1979 the pupils moved to the present fine new buildings provided by the North Eastern Education and Library Board and continues to be known as The Irish Society’s School. In the months of April and May 2005, the school held a number of events as part of it tricentennial celebrations.