"Clongowes" refers to Clongowes Wood College, a boys' boarding school run by the Jesuits in Sallins, County Kildare, a short distance west of Dublin. James Joyce was a student at Clongowes from 1888 to 1891 (ages 6-9), as was his fictional avatar Stephen Dedalus, whose life-defining experiences there are represented in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Joyce had to leave when his father could no longer afford the bills, and the same appears to be true of Stephen.

JH 2015

The main entrance to Clongowes. Source:

The staff dining room at Clongowes, photographed by Leftofcentresayshi. Source: Wikimedia Commons.