Saint Finbarrs College, Lagos 60th Anniversary

The year 2016 saw the Saint Finbarrs College, Akoka Lagos celebrate her 60th ‘Diamond Jubilee’ anniversary which brought together the entire ‘Conquerors’ (alumni and present) as the students of the great school are known to celebrate and feast together.

The man known to us as Rev. Father D.J. Slattery came to Nigeria during the WWI (First World War) between 1939 and 1942, where he served in parishes in Osogbo and Ilawe-Ekiti, of the Old Western Region. Then, he was posted to St. Gregory’s College, Obalende-Lagos. As a teacher and sports lover, he became the Games Master for the school. Later become the editor of the Catholic Herald in Mushin before establishing his own school. His school became the first bilateral school in the country, combining full Grammar (called Basic) with Arts and Technical subjects, and in the 1955/56 academic year, with six students, fondly referred to as the ‘first six’, a new school, but without a name, was born.

The name Saint Finbarrs College which the school is known came later and could be traced to Ireland, the country of origin of its founder Rev. Father D.J. Slattery. Saint Finbarr or Finnbarr, in Irish Fionnbharra, very often abbreviated to Barra, (c. 550–25 September 623) was Bishop of Cork and abbot of a monastery in what is now the city of Cork, Ireland. He is also the patron saint of that city and of the Diocese of Cork.

Origin of the name Finbarr’s
Several lives of this saint have been written. According to one of them, the saint’s original name was Lóchán, but when he went as a young man to be tonsured as a monk for the first time, the man shaving his head said: “The hair of this servant of God is beautiful.” Another said: “You have spoken well, because his name will be changed and he shall be called Finn-barr, that is ‘beautiful hair’, from the beautiful head he offered in sacrifice to God.” So he was called Finbarr by some and Barra by others, Barra being generally used in the Irish language.

Although the tale of Finbarrs happened a long time ago, the rumble of FIDELITAS! never stopped beating in the hearts of people like me and some of my former classmates and colleagues at the Saint Finbarrs College, Akoka Lagos in Lagos.

Our School Anthem:
Saint Finbarrs College Akoka
My own alma mater
I am proud to belong
I am proud to belong
To a citadel of excellence

fidelitas! FIDELITAS!
fidelitas! FIDELITAS!

Joy and happiness is ours
Whenever we remember you
A place everyone
A place everyone
Is loved and cared for


There are at least five St. Finbarr’s Schools; in Liverpool England, Australia, East Brighton (Melbourne), Quilpie (South West Queensland) and the greatest of all in Lagos, Nigeria.

The past and recent achievements of the St. Finbarrs College, Akoka Lagos through the performances of the students in academics and extra-curricular activities are teasers to whet your appetite for much needed success in life.

Renowned Sports Alumni
It is noteworthy that in the 1970’s and 1980’s the school produced international players like Thompson Oliha, Nduka Ugbade, Samson SiaSia, and Henry Nwosu, just to mention a few. In fact in those days, for any candidate to aspire to come to St. Finbarr’s, he must be academically sound and physically superior in football.
Six players from Saint Finbarr s College were selected into the first junior National Team: Nathaniel Ogedegbe, Henry Nwosu, late Stephen Keshi, Wakilu Oyenuga, late Obe Adedeji, and Emeka James were selected to make the first Flying Eagles and later called Junior Eagles. Paul Okoku, Nathaniel Ogedegbe, Henry Nwosu, late Stephen Keshi, later went on to the Green Eagles national team. Godwin Odiye represented the country during the African Nations Cup. He was the first Saint Finbarr s College student to make the national team.

Written and compiled by: Niyi Aderibigbe, SFCOBA 2000 Set.

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Wikipedia Tiapeey Okwuokei/SFCOBA Page