Principals since 1934

Mr Maxwell Gillespie was the first Headmaster, serving the school from 1934 until 1949. To date, there have only ever been four Principals at Finaghy PS.

During the war, Mr Gillespie was seconded to the Inspectorate for 4 years, returning in 1946. During this time, Mr C Colbert was Acting Principal.

Mr Gillespie was Headmaster for 15 years in total. On his retirement in 1949, the position was taken by Captain Howard R Brown  (After the war, it was quite common for retired army officers to become Principals.) Captain Brown retired in 1978 after a remarkable 29 years in the post.

Following on, Mr Raymond Harbison took up the baton, remaining as Principal for 21 years until 1999. Mr Harbison had served initally as a teacher at Finaghy PS, became Vice Principal of Taughmonagh PS, then returned again to Finaghy PS as Principal.

Mr Alastair Mackay, then took up the position after Mr Harbinson. Back in 1999, Mr Mackay was not in attendance on the day he took up post, as his first daughter was being born. The Ulster Star got hold of the story and ran with the headline ‘New Principal marked absent on first day of school!’


(Click to enlarge)