A personal reflection on the Dominican Centenary by Dr Ima Jackson


Hi there Dominican College, Portstewart and congratulations on your Centenary. My name is Dr Ima Jackson and I am currently employed in the School of Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University.

I thought I would pass on this little story. I imagine you will have been getting lots of different information this year.

My sister Michele Jackson and I were brought up in Strand Road, Portstewart and attended Dominican College from 1976 until 1982.

We have always been told the following family story concerning the beginnings of the college, although there is no evidence it is actually true. It was said that our great grandmother, Dr. Mildred Croskery, (our father’s mother’s mother) helped the Dominican nuns find O'Hara's Castle, and encouraged them to start a school there.

This woman (pictured below bottom right ) was a widow struggling to educate three teenage daughters. To make some extra money, circa 1915 or 1916 she travelled to Dublin from Belfast to act as an external examiner for pupils attending the Dominican College in Dublin. During this visit the nuns told her they were considering opening a second college in the north of Ireland. It happened that our great grandmother often stayed in Portstewart in a small house she rented behind the harbour end of the promenade. Seeing that O’Hara’s Castle was for sale she sent a picture postcard to the nuns in Dublin recommending it as a suitable venue. The rest is history…

The colour photograph is of Lillian Croskery, Isabel Cuthbertson Jackson, Sidney Croskery and their mother, Dr Mildred Croskery

The black and white photo is James Croskery (our father namesake, who died young), Mildred Croskery, Lillian and Sidney the younger child. James Croskery died before our Grandmother was born. This must have been about 1901.

Good luck in all the various centenary celebrations this year and please do contact me if you wish any further information.