The history of Ballygraddy National School dates back to April 2nd, 1842, when a letter requesting aid, towards building a school-house in the townland of Ballygraddy was written by Reverend Jim McMurray, to the Commissioners of Education. An application form was dispatched and the completed form was received in the Application Office on April 12th, 1842.

In making the application, Rev. McMurray furnished a list of names from which the Commissioners could chose who the trustees should be – N. Wrixon, Vicar of Kilbrin;

Cor. Scully, Parish Priest of Kilbrin and Ballyclough; G. H. Reardon, R. Catholic; Charles Daly, R. Catholic; Thomas Sheahan, R. Catholic; David Flynn, R. Catholic; and two Protestants whose names are illegible. He added to this:-

"In reference to the heads of information denominated in the letter of instruction forwarded with the present forms of application the Board Of Management wish to state -

  1. That the name of the proposed school may be appropriately called the Ballygraddy National School.

  2. That it is in the County of Cork, Parish of Kilbrin, townland of Ballygraddy and Barony of Duhallow.

  3. That Mr. J. J. Murphy of Ringmahon Castle, Cork is the person who has granted the site and can make a lease forever if required.

  4. The trustees shall be selected from the parties whose signatures are attached...if necessary another trustee can be added - than named as independent farmers. I should say Mr. Daly is a gentleman and Mr. Sheahan a respectable farmer.

  5. No Tarrif

  6. 200 Children at least ie. 100 males and 100 females. 2 School rooms.

In addition the Rev. McMurray wishes to state, that in consequence of the poverty of the surrounding population and the very small number of landed Proprietors who are expected to give aid for the creation of the school houses, it is expected that the Board (if not incompatible with the rules) will give the largest possible aid, as it will be otherwise necessary to trespass too much on an oppressed though industrious and well conducted people".

In adherence with the usual procedure followed by the Board of Education, a report on the application had to be made by the local Superintendent, Michael M. Sheahy. This was received by the Board on May 30th, 1842, following a visit by Mr. Sheahy to the area on May 28th, a holiday. The report gave the site of proposed schoolhouse as being “on the northside of the road between Mileford and Cork and west of the intersection of that line, by the line between Buttevant and Kanturk.” The site would be "an acre if required … in a healthy condition … and enclosed with a four feet wall." Mr. Sheahy assured the board that it was not "a portion of church, chapel or meetinghouse yard", nor was it "in connexion with any religious establishment", - all significant points if it was to fulfil the conditions of the Board that it would be non- denominational. The nearest post-town was given as Kanturk, 5 miles west.

When asked to state the ”Christian name, Surname and Residence of the person making a lease of the site, and what title he had to the ground”, Sheahy noted: “The widow Flynn is Resident tenant under Jeremiah Jas.Murphy Esq., of Ringmahon owner in for. The lease would be forever if required and the ground would be liable only to nominal rent”. The Trustees were given as “Chas Daly Esq, Lackeel Park, Mr. Thos. Sheahan of Ballygraddy, The Revd. Cors.Scully PP, Ballymacpierse - post·town of all Kanturk.” Mr.Sheahy commented that the first two (were) gentlemen farmers, the third PP - “all fit trustees”!

150 males and 80 females were the numbers given of the children who ”may be expected to attend the school”. The local subscription raised, or is likely to be raised toward the creation of the house was “£80 in labour and cash”.

Asked if a necessity existed for the building of a new school-house here the Superindent’s reply was unambiguous - ”certainly”. He gave the names and circumstances of such National and other schools for the poor as are in the neighbourhood within a circuit of three miles, and what number of children attending them as being “one at Kilbarry 1/4 m1.180 pupils, one at Ballygraddy 50 and two at Kilbrin to pupils all of a very low description”. This would appear to be an indication of the extent of hedge-schools in the area prior to the establishment of Ballygraddy National School. In stating the grounds upon which he recommended that the application should be entertained or otherwise, Mr. Sheahan wrote; "I am of opinion that it should be entertained, being very necessary, but it is not sufficient, another schoolhouse be built in the Western part of the parish". The comment is surely significant considering the sequence of events to unfold later in the century in the Curraghs area.

The required grant of £134.00.0 towards Building and £15.00.0 towards fitting-up was paid and the local contribution of £82.00.0 making a total expenditure of £231.00.0 by November 4th, 1843.


Meanwhile, a further application was made to the Commissioners of Education on September 11th,1843, this time for and towards the payment of the salary of the teacher of Ballygraddy National School. The teachers in question were “Charles Ryan - aged 27 years and Catherine Crowly - aged 29 years ...... Chas.Ryan has been trained in Dublin at Model School in 1838. Since then he taught the Cecilstown National School till September,1842 .... Catherine Crowly, or Enright, taught a National School at Tarbert, Co.Kerry in 1836, since has been teaching public schools. Was educated as teacher at Convent School and after at a public school viz. Misses Barry’s."

The applicant, again Rev. Jim J .Murray, was "confident each school-room will produce at least fifteen pounds per annum". Asked if the scholars pay anything he noted that "about 100 will pay 1d per week each for each school." On the date of application there were two schoolrooms each measuring 34 feet by 18 feet.

It was some years later, on April 15th, 1864 that a similar application was received by the Commissioners of Education. The form, gives the name David Shine as that of the teacher already employed in the school-room and Daniel Buckley as that of the Assistant Teacher on whose behalf application was now being made. Daniel Buckley at this date was 18 years old and had previously served as an assistant teacher in Liscarroll National School from June 1st, 1863. There were 88 boys on the roll at the time, but the average daily attendance for the previous six months was 58. This application was signed by Rev. Timothy Buckley.

The report upon application for salary was completed by James MacLochlin, District Inspector of National Schools, following a visit to the school on May 11th,1864. This gives the names of teachers already recognised by the Board employed in each room and their class as “Male School David Shine I(2), female school Mary Shine I(2).” Also the names Johanna Linehan III(2) Ast. and Ellen Flynn, Senior Monitor, both in the girls school, are recorded. The Inspectors opinion of Daniel Buckley was that he was "competent” and of "moral character". By this time, there were 111 boys on the roll of Ballygraddy Male school, though the average daily attendance was only 60.

The day to day affairs of the school continued of course, much of it never remarked upon by the Commissioners Of Education. Regular correspondence, however, travelled between here and Dublin concerning the school. A register records the correspondence, Boards orders etc., and a selection of these, largely self-explanatory, give a good insight into the highlights of the school’s past.


Aug 25, 1854

Kate Persse complains that Manager on a certain Wed. "dragged out of the school the children of a policeman’s wife" directing such children to go to complainant for religious instruction.

Sep 8, 1854

Call for explanation. R.C. clergyman not empowered by Board’s Rules to stop teacher’s salary should they read Bible to themselves.

Sep 22, 1854

Mangr. totally denies the above charge.

Nov 15, 1854

Insp. submits report of investigation - the charge was not supported.

Nov 24, 1854

Transmit to Miss Persse substance of Insp.’s statement referring to the part the teacher took with reference to Mr. Cuthbert’s children — the Commissioners acquit teacher of all blame in the transaction. Mr.Cuthbert is perfectly satisfied with the conduct of teacher towards his children. Inform Mangr. also.

Dec 5, 1855

Fine teacher Mary Shine £1/-/- for most unsatisfactory state of school and warn her that, if again unfavourably reported, she will be depressed.

Mar 24, 1856

Rev. C. Scully requests Rev. T. Buckley of Ballyclough to be recognised as Manager of the female school in his stead.

Dec 5, 1856

Teacher David Shine to be depressed to 1(2) from the 20th September for inattention to his duties generally and for most unsatisfactory state of school. D. Shine to be also warned that if Inspectors Reports continues unfavourable he will be still further depressed.

Jun 30, 1857

Deed executed this date appointing new trustees namely Rev. T. Buckley and John Daly vice Chas. Daly and Rev. C. Scully deceased.

Apr 8, 1859

Granted sal. to Eugene Dorney as Senior Monitor from 1st April 1859

Mar 2, 1860

Johanna Linehan, Asst. sanctioned from 1 January ‘60.

Sep 28, 1860

M.Shine, Teacher, admonished severely for neglecting to fill up side columns in her Roll-Book.

Nov 8, 1861

Granted salary to Ellen Flynn as senior monitor from 1st Nov. 1861.

Apr 11, 1862

Eugene Dorney reprimanded for attempting to conceal some of the examination papers which were on Inspector’s desk when Inspector was engaged with another monitor.

Jun 20, 1862

Gratuity of £2 to M. Shine for Trainee Teacher E. Heffernan.

Nov 27, 1863

£2 to Mary Shine for instructing Monr. E. Flynn during 1863.

May 27, 1864

£15 salary to assistant Daniel Buckley from 1st April, 1864.

Dec 23, 1864

£2 to Mary Shine for instructing Monr. E. Flynn.

Dec 19, 1865

Elizabeth Sheahan to be S.M. From 1.12.65. £3 to Mrs. Shine for S.M. Ellen Flynn in ‘65.

Apr 28, 1868

Assistant Dan Buckley fined 5/- for late attendance; to be required by manager to live within a reasonable distance from schoolhouse.

Oct 5, 1869

David Shine restored to 1( 1) from 1.1.69.

Feb 09, 1874

Rep. mentions irregular atten. of mon. C. Shine - no action - time just up.

Apr 13, 1875

Rev. T. Buckley nominating Rev. T. Leader to the Mangement - is informed that it is necessary co-trustees join in the nomination.

Jun 25, 1875

Monitor D. Connell cautioned on failure in spelling. Monitor J .Shine admonished on spelling, grammar, geo.

Jul 31, 1877

That salary be withdrawn, according to terms of circular issued 16/4/77 from E. Sheehan, 2nd Asst., from 30/6/77.

Oct 15, 1877

Manager informed that Miss Sheahan, Asst. can only be paid from date of Miss Linehan’s resignation.

Dec 12, 1877

Carelessness of D. Shine, teacher, in having school door imperfectly secured. A fire should be lighted.

Dec 02, 1880

Manager informed that the average attendance would not warrant the appointment of an assistant in succession to Ml. Sheehan, resigned.

Jul 21, 1885

That salary be withdrawn from Mary Shine from 14th August 1885, inclusive, on which day she will reach age for compulsory retirement under the Act 42 and 43 Cap. 74 and that her case be referred to the Superannuation Department.

Aug 01, 1885

£47 per anum as pension payable to Mary Shine on retirement.

Sep 16, 1886

Decision as to dismissal of Miss B.Shine cannot be departed from. She failed absolutely in Arith. and per cent of answering was generally low.

Mar 21, 1887

Miss Bridget Shine re-appointed from 1-1-87. Recognised as Provisionally classed.

Apr 26, 1889

Mary Shine is ineligible for appointment as Teacher as she is not classed.

Sep 29, 1893

Manager requested to take necessary steps to have house placed in thorough repair (house needs plaster-dashing, eaveshoots and down-spouts needed; walls needed limewash).


Managers attention drawn to the necessity for providing a porch for the boys school, new desks for the girls school and repairing the floor in the latter, and Manager is informed that it is not possible, at present, to sanction the arrangement for Religious Instruction for the Roman Catholic pupils from 1 - 1.30 o’clock as there is no accommodation for the Protestant pupils on the school premises during this period.

Sep 05, 1896

Rev. D. J. O’Callaghan PP recognised as Manager.

Sep 27, 1897

"A spacious porch has recently been erected".

Jun 21, 1899

Mgr. informed that pupils of this school, who made one or more actual attendances during fortnight preceding 6th April last, may be credited with attendance on that day as the school was used as a polling booth in LGB election.

Oct 10, 1899

Salary granted to Miss B. Ryan as Temp. Ass. from 1-7-99.

Oct 19, 1899

Mr. P. Herlihy, Principal, admonished for not exercising proper supervision over pupils at playtime and informed that practice of allowing some pupils home for lunch must be discontinued.

Oct 23, 1900

Miss Bridget Ryan appointed Asst. from 1-7-1900 @ £39 per annum provisionally.

Aug 27, 1901

£31:6:8 granted on expenses of £47 to provide new desks and enlarge the windows in Ballygraddy M + F N.Ss.

May 12, 1902

Proposed arrangements for having school excursions in connection with Ballygraddy M & F N.S.s are sanctioned on condition that the excursion does not start until 2 p.m. and is terminated at 3.30 pm.

Jan 24, 1903

Decision as to income in case of Mrs. Herlihy, Principal cannot be altered.

Apr 20, 1903

Mgr. informed that while the matter of Miss Ferguson’s pamphlet would be suitable for oral lessons on the part of the teacher, it is not considered advisable to use "Hints on Good Manners” as a text bk. in Nat. Schools.

Aug 18, 1903

£340 granted on expenses of £510 towards providing classrooms, new privies, a porch to the classrooms and division walls &c.

Jun 07, 1904

Salary granted to John J .Walsh as Temporary Assistant from 11-1-04.

Jan 17, 1905

£4 granted on expenditure of £6 - additional cost in providing a movable glazed partition at end of classroom, instead of a fixed partition.

May 17, 1905

Manager informed that the promotion of Mr. Patrick Herlihy, Teacher, to 1(2) Grade carries with it an increase of salary of £10 per annum.

Jun 16, 1905

New classroom erected (24 x 20 x 10 1/4 ft) New out offices; glass and wood partition put up between old room and classroom; new floor in old room; new mantle in old building; new desks etc. provided.

Oct 09, 1905

Manager informed that Bd. of Works do not recommend a grant towards the cost of re-gravelling playground as it would not be a permanent improvement. Manager withdrew permission for Committee of "Ballygraddy Club Dance" to hold a dance in this vested schoolhouse (BG) on 13/1/06.


Included in a separate file is correspondence relating to an application for a loan to provide a teacher’s residence. Earlier mention was made of Assistant teacher, Dan Buckley being fined 5/- on April 28th 1868, for late attendance and hence to be required by the Manager to live within a reasonable distance from the schoolhouse. Yet, it was on November 19th, 1896 that Rev. D. J. O’Callaghan wrote to the Secretaries of the Board of National education as follows:-


Please inform the Commissioner of N. Education that I hereby apply for a loan to build a teachers residence in connection with Ballygraddy N. School - Dist.56 No.3438.

The teacher’s present residence in entirely too far from the schools and we hope to be able to get a site for residence at a suitable distance.

I would feel obliged for an “application form".

Yours faithfully,

D. J. O’Callaghan.

An application form was duly dispatched to Rev O’Callaghan and this completed form, making an application for a loan of £250 to cover the estimated cost of building a house was returned on December 12th, together with Ordinance Sheets showing positions of the site and of the school. Unfortunately, these sheets are not included in the file of correspondence.

The application form, however, states that the site, extent of which was 1 rood, 27 perches (English), would be a distance of 1,320 yards from the school. The rent, to be paid by the applicant, Rev.O’Callaghan, would be one shilling per annum.

Following the Board's usual procedure, the Inspector at Mallow, Louis T. Daly, was instructed to furnish a report on the application. He wrote to the Board on February 2nd, 1897:-


In reply to your letter of the 3rd inst. referring to the application of the Manager of the above named school for aid to build a residence for the teacher I beg to inform you that I am able to state that the pupils’ attendance and the circumstances of the locality warrant the conclusion that the school will be a permanent institution.

I am, Gentlemen,

Your obedient servant,

Louis T. Daly.

The Board of Education duly referred the application to the Board of Works "for favourable consideration". Work on the building was commenced and the house was completed during the Principalship of Patrick Herlihy.


As the twentieth century dawned, it is clear from the records that the Manager of the school, Rev. D. J. O’Callaghan P.P. was deeply concerned with certain aspects of Ballygraddy School. On November 15th,1900, he wrote to the Board of National Education stating he was “most anxious to give the new programme a good start in our schools as so much depends on a successful beginning. But we are unfortunately much handicapped in two of our above mentioned school (Ballygraddy Male and Female National Schools). Some structural improvement are urgently required”.

The following month he wrote with more specific details of what was required.

  1. Enlargement of windows. The rooms are badly lighted, especially in winter.

  2. To make a sewer from closets to adjoining stream. There is danger to public health at present.

  3. To build addition to existing school premises, the female school overcrowded.

The Inspector, Louis Daly, in his report upon the application readily agreed to recommend a grant towards the first two of the Managers proposals. He went on to say:

"With regard to the proposed enlargement, I beg to say that in the Boys’ school there appears to be a need for such a work, having regard to the present numbers, viz:-

Present Number on Rolls 59

Average on rolls for year ended 31/12/1900 60.3

Average attendance for year ended 31/3/1900 44.5

Average attendance for year ended 30/6/1900 46.3

Average attendance for year ended 30/9/1900 45.6

Average attendance for year ended 31/121900 45.7

Dimensions of school - Length 34f`t. Breadth 18f`t.

Dimensions of porch - Length 19 ft. Average Breadth 8ft. (used as classroom)

The corresponding numbers for the girls school are




Present Number on Rolls




Average on rolls for year ended 31/12/1900




Average attendance year ended 31/3/1900




Average attendance year ended 30/6/1900




Average attendance year ended 30/9/1900




Average attendance year ended 31/12/1900




Dimensions of school length 34 ft., Breadth 18ft.

Accommodation afforded (34’ X 18’) / 8 = 76

It will I think be seen that the school is from time to time crowded, and in this case I would beg to recommend a grant for the construction of a classroom to accommodate 20 pupils, especially as the Manager states that he is anxious to utilize such a classroom for the teaching of Cookery."

An officer of the Commissioners of Public works inspected the premises and reported that there would be no structual difficulty in the way of enlarging the 12 small windows - one in each school, the cost of the work being estimated at £38. The desks in the girls school were, by this time, very old and unsuitable and a request was made by the teacher for new desks. "With regard to the closets, the Board are of the opinion that it would not be advisable to accept the proposal of the Manager to construct a sewer from the closets to an adjacent stream and, under the circumstances, they consider that the present open privy pits should remain.”

The local Inspector Louis Daly visited the school on July 2nd, 1901. He agreed to the provision of new desks with modifications to the teachers proposals. He also noted that as "there is a large number of junior children on rolls for whom desks of a suitable height would be very desirable, as, owing to local circumstances an increase in the numbers is anticipated, I would beg to suggest, if the Manager’s recent application for the construction of a classroom is entertained that three or four desks of a height to suit Infants at writing and drawing should be provided in this classroom".

In a letter dated September 3rd,1902 Fr. O’Callaghan in applying for grants of free stock mentions "the work of enlarging the windows of the above named schools, and providing new desks for girls school being now satisfactorily completed". He soon turned his attention to getting desks for the boys school and on March 14th,1903, the Office of National Education wrote to inform him that a grant of £10, on expenditure of £15 be made towards providing the new desks for use in Ballygraddy Boys' school.

Fr. O’Callaghan had been making a case for the erection of new closets and class-rooms since 1900. On May 1st, 1903, clearly dissatisfied with the heretofore lack of response to the application, he wrote to the Board of National Education.

"The Board of Work's principal Surveyor visited and reported two months ago. He found both schools overcrowded and closets much needed. It would seem that your Board considers a classroom unnecessary in the Boys school. The principal surveyor of the Board Of Works, however, found that there were less than 130 cubic feet of air for each child present at the boys’ school, on the occasion of his visit. I shall be much surprised if your Board should decide that this state of things is as it should be. It should be remembered that the minimum allowance per pupil in English schools is 500 cubic feet. It would be very convenient for me if the plans and specifications could be forwarded before the middle of May, as labour is very scarce and dear in the the end of Summer and during the Autumn.”

This letter spurred the Board into action. Plans were drawn up, an agreement was reached that one-third of the estimated cost would be "made good from local sources", and on August 18th, 1903, £340 was granted on expenses of £510 towards providing classrooms, new privies, a porch to the classrooms and division walls &c."

In January, 1905 " a grant of £4, on expenditure of £6, (was) made towards the additional cost involved in providing, across the end of the classroom in the Boys’ School, a movable glazed partition."

Six months later Fr. O’Callaghan again wrote to Board of Education:


I beg to make application for a grant towards coating the playground of the above named schools with gravel. By some oversight, no provison was made for this very necessary improvement in the specification issued by the Board of Works for the improvement recently executed. I have to point out that the playground is low lying and damp, that it has never received a coating of gravel and that it cannot be utilized by the children in damp weather. The Engineer to the local Rural District Council estimates that it will take from 70 to 80 loads of gravel, and this has to be carted a distance of six miles".

On October 9th, 1905, the Office of National Education wrote to Fr. O’Callaghan, informing him "that the Board of Public Works do not recommend a grant for this work as they cannot regard it as a permanent improvement". This remained their decision despite another letter from the Fr. O’Callaghan "regarding the gravelling (not the re-gravelling)", as their letter had put it, in which he submitted that "the children have to play ankle deep in mud during the winter months, and respectfully, request that the matter be reconsidered."


On January 19th,1909, Rev. D. J. O’Callaghan PP wrote, yet again, to the Board of National Education requesting them to let him know “what the Board's contribution would be towards the equipment of the above-named school for teaching of cookery. As it is found rather difficult to make adequate provision for the efficient teaching of the other subjects of the school programme during ordinary school hours, I am not in favour of having this time further encroached upon, and hereby submit the following arrangement for sanction:- Cookery to be taught from 3 to 41/2 on Mondays and from 101/2 to 12 on Saturdays.”

The Board Of National Education replied to Rev. O’Callaghan on January 25th to draw his “attention to the terms of Rule. 120 (1) with reference to the teaching of cookery and laundry work and to the following statement in the introduction to the programmes of instruction for National Schools, for the school year 1908-8, viz.,-

Cookery and Laundry work must be taught as part of the ordinary school programme to girls enrolled in the fifth and higher standards when suitable provision for instruction in these subjects can be secured. Increments may be witheld from the teaching staff of such a school if cookery is not taught, unless special sanction for the omission of the subject from the school course has been granted.

As it is observed, that cookery has not been taken up in the above-named school, I am to request you to be good enough to state what steps you are taking to provide instruction in this subject for the girls attending the school".

Fr. O’Callaghan replied, three days later, stressing that he recognised the importance of the subject and was prepared to do what he could to have it taught efficiently He was not in favour, however, of encroaching further upon the times devoted to the other subjects of the school course. The Board of Education agreed to accept his proposals regarding the times for "instruction", On condition that the cookery lessons would commence immediately upon the resumption of work in the school at the termination of the Christmas vacation, fulfilment of rule 120 (5) Viz., instruction must be given for at least six months in the year.

A. B. Gloster, District Inspector visited the school and recommended ”the Managers application be favourably considered. The school has a good attendance of girls in the higher standards and is in charge of an efficient staff. A considerable sum of money, it may be mentioned, has been provided locally in recent years towards the improvement of the school premises. The articles of furniture required are 1 stove, 3 tables say 4’-6" Gy 2’-3", 1 press to hold utensils.”

Protracted debate took place in the correspondence between The Manager, The Inspector , The Office Of Public Works and Board Of National Education on different aspects of the provision of Cookery Instruction. For example, recommendations were made for having “an open hearth, a large fireplace with side brick, a range stove, or a gas stove, according to the locality and home conditions of the children”. The positioning of a cookery room though, was the major area of contention. This is best summed up in a letter from the Office Of Public Works to the Board Of National Education:-

"The boys’ school is on the ground floor and the girls’ school on the first floor, but, although this is the case the Manager desires to convert the room or porch of the Male school (the dimensions of which are 19’ 2" x 10’ 8") into a cookery room. The Board understands that the room, which was built by local aid alone, is roofed with corrugated iron, with a floor of wood, and is lighted by one window in the gable, and a skylight in the roof. A plan showing the room and the position of the furniture is enclosed for your information. It will be seen that the space is congested, and that the arrangement is not a suitable one, apart from the fact that it interferes with the boys’ cap room. The cost of fitting up the room is estimated at £27 .10.0. The cost of providing in the rear classroom of the Girls’ School (a) a large open grate with a plan of the type referred to in the last paragraph of your letter of the 19th March last (b) three tables (c) a press is estimated at £14. "

Rev O’Callaghan agreed to alternative proposals and to provide one-third of the estimated cost from local sources - provided that a stove be substituted for the large open grate suggested in their letter. This proviso provoked a query from the Board Of Education "as to whether a range would be the more suitable, having regard to the locality and the home conditions of the children, and whether in his (the Inspector’s) opinion the extra cost involved by its provision would be warranted." The Inspector, A. B. Gloster, showed remarkable foresight in his reply, dated 22/9/ 1909: "On the whole, I think a range would be more suitable, having regard not only to the locality and existing home conditions of the pupils but also to the possible future conditions under which the pupils will pass their adult lives. The extra cost would, in my opinion, be warranted".

The outcome of all this was that the Commissioners of National Education "ordered that a grant of £14-13-4 be made for the provision of a range in the rear classroom of the girls’ school, three tables and a press for storing cookery utensils." The improvements were made and the grant paid, "less a deduction of six shillings and eight pence in respect of deviations in the piers of the fireplace and in the premises supplied".


A certain amount of correspondence survives in the records relating to the payment of Assistant teachers. This mainly consists of application forms for aid towards salary and the corresponding Inspector’s Reports. An examination of these can give us an insight into the conditions of employment of teachers.

Johanna Linehan

The application for aid for the payment of a salary to Johanna Linehan was made on January 6th, 1860. At this stage, there were two rooms in the school - 1 Male, 1 Female - each with internal dimensions of 34’ x 18’ x 12’. Mary Shine was already teaching in the Female room. Johanna Linehan was appointed to the school on December 1st, 1859 and she was 18 years of age. She had been examined by the District Inspector and pronounced fit. This appears to be her only testimonial of fitness for office. On the date of application there were 87 Males and 87 Females on the roll. Thomas Linehan, District Inspector of National Schools, visited the school on the 14th February, 1860 for the purposes of making a report. He noted that David Shine was teaching in the Male school with the assistance of Eugene Dorney, a Monitor. The Inspector’s opinion of the teacher for whom the salary was being sought was that she was "competent". He reported that "the yearly average amounts to 56 - consequently ought to be acceded to. Besides, there is an absolute certainty that if any change takes place in the numbers of pupils in attendance such change will be for the better." Written on the end of the Inspector’s Report is a note dated March 1st,1860:- "£14 salary to Johanna Linehan, assistant."

Eliza Sheahan

On November 9th, 1868 Rev. Timothy Buckley P.P. forwarded an Application for aid towards the salary of Eliza Sheahan, an assistant teacher in Ballygraddy Female School. Mary Shine and Johanna Linehan were listed along with Miss Sheahan as the teachers employed in the schoolroom ..... Eliza Sheahan was previously employed as Senior Monitress in December 1865 and then as assistant, if approved, from 1st October, 1868. There were 126 Females on the roll on the date of application, though the average attendance for the previous six months was only 84. On the date of the District lnspector’s visit, November 18th, 1868, the number of girls in attendance was a mere 55, but a note at the end of the report gives the reason for this. "The attendance is lower than usual at present, as several of the pupils are affected with quinsy" The Inspector, C.WBateman, recommended that the application be granted on the grounds that the attendance was sufficient and the candidate was qualified.

Eliza Sheahan's service ceased as Asst. from 30th Sept, 1885, "as she is permanently incapacited for further service as a teacher and that her claim to Retiring Gratuity be referred to the Teacher’s Superanuation Department."

"6:86 £91 Retiring Grat. awarded to E.Sheahan".


It would be nearly impossible to compile a complete list of all the teachers and monitors that taught in the school. References are made to the following in School Registers, Roll Books, Day Books, etc., as well as in the National Archives Records. Teachers and Monitors are presented in alphabetical order. All appointments are as Assistant Teachers in Ballygraddy N.S., unless otherwise stated.

Eily Beamish Born - 5/5/1889; trained - Marlborough Street 1913-1915; appointed Sub. - 27/9/1915; left 22/10/1915.

Michael Bowman Born 5/5/1891; trained - De La Salle 1912-1914; appointed - 8/4/1929; Principal of Male school; left - 16/1/1936.

Lil Brosnan (nee Mackessy) Sub - 1944-1945.

Dan Buckley Appointed — 1/4/1864 (aged 18).

Mary Coleman Born - 1907; sub. - 1/7/1926-29/7/1926; sub. - 8/6/1927-26/8/1927.

Dan Collins Appointed - 17/11/1870; left 24/9/1877.

Mary Collins Sub. - 1965.

D.Connell Monitor c.1875.

Mary Cronin Sub. - 1966.

Cornelius Curtin Born - 8/9/1901; appointed Monitor – 1/7/1918; left 30/9/1921.

Denis Curtin Appointed Monitor - 1/7/1914 (aged 16); left 30/6/1910.

John M. Carthy Appointed Monitor - 1/7/1905 (aged 14); left 30/6/1910.

Catherine Crowly (nee Enright) Trained - Convent School and Misses Barry’s Public School; Tarbert, Co. Kerry 1836; Public Schools 1837-1842; appointed 1843 (aged 29).

Siobhan Desmond Sub. - 1958.

Blaithnaidh Dinan Sub. 1957

Mary Donovan Bom — 8/3/1889; sub. · 12/9/1911-3/4/ 1912.

Nora Donovan Bom - 13/5/1884; trained - 1904-1906 Our Lady of Mercy College, Carysfort; appointed · 3/9/1906; Principal of Female school.

Eugene Dorney Left - 31/3/1863.

Angela Duane (nee O’Sullivan) Sub. - 1958.

Catherine Fitzgerald Sub. - 1945.

Ellen Flynn Apponted Monitor — 1/11/1861.

Margaret Goggin (nee Cremin) Appointed — 17/4/1958; left — July, 1972; Scoil Eoin Baiste, 1972-1990.

Margaret Hallihan Appointed - July, 1960; left 1963.

Eileen Hannon Appointed - 6/9/1966; left - July, 1972; Scoil Eoin Baiste 1972-1975.

Sarah Harrington Trained - Limerick 1904-1907; appointed - 13/1/1908 (aged 25); Principal of Female school; left - 5/7/1908.

Timothy Hartnett Bom - December, 1899; trained - De La Salle 1919-1921; sub. — 5/2/1922 – 28/3/1922; sub. - 8/1/1923 — 2/2/1923;

John J .Herlihy Born - April, 1893; sub. - February, 1917-August,1917; Principal pro.tem. 1/9/1917-30/9/1917.

Nora Herlihy Born - 17/12/1897; appointed 14/1/1918; left 30/6/1919.

Pat Herlihy Born - 1/3/1869; trained De La Salle 1893-1894; appointed 1/3/1890; diploma 31/3/1897; left 11/8/1917; died 26/8/1917.

Eileen Hickey Sub. - 1969.

William Hickey Born - October. 1915; appointed – 3/6/1940; left — 19/7/1944.

Annie Hishon Born — 1898; trained — Endsleigh, Hull 1917-1919; sub. - 7/1/1924-1/2/1924.

Sean Kelleher Sub. - 8/2/1943-26/3/1943: sub. - 16/8/1943-3/9/1943.

Eoin Kelly Sub. - 1959.

Johanna Lenihan Appointed - 1J12/1859 (aged 18)

Hannah Looney (nee O’Callaghan) Born - January 1897; appointed Monitor July, 1913; trained Our Lady of Mercy College, Carysfort 1917-1919; appointed 7/7/1917; left 19/7/1936.

Kate Mahony Born - August, 1879; appointed Monitor - 1/7/1893; appointed Assistant - 10/9/ 1905 (aged 27).

Mary A. McDonnell Born - February, 1898; appointed Assistant - 12/1 1/ 1923.

Margaret Moynihan Born — March 1894; appointed Monitor July, 1909; trained St.Mary’s College, Belfast 1914-1916; appointed 4/9/1916; left 31/12/1917.

Denis Murphy Appointed - 25/9/1944; left 26/9/1945.

Edmund Murphy Sub. — 12/10/1927-12/12/1927.

Hanna Murphy Born - 2/9/1891; sub. — 2/9/1912-4/7/1913.

Kathleen Murphy Sub. - 1971.

Seamus Musgrave Sub. - 1959.

Bridget Neligan Born - December 1890; appointed Monitor – July, 1906; sub. - 15/4/1912-12/7/1912.

Nora O’Callaghan Appointed - September, 1963. Left - July, 1966.

Siobhan O’Callaghan Sub. — 1966

John O’Connor Sub. - 1936.

Mary O’Connor Born - December, 1889; appointed Monitor – Julv, 1904; sub. - 15/7/1912-29/7/1912.

Mary O’Connor Sub. - 1959.

Annie O’Donoghue Sub.- 11/11/1919 - 11/12/1919.

Mary J. O’Hanlon Sub. — 24/4/1925-2/6/1925.

Margaret Mary O’Leary Born - 17/7/1911; sub. — 25/9/1933-10/11/1933.

Lily O’Reilly Born - December, 1899; appointed Monitor – July, 1916; left - 30/6/1919.

Padraig A O’Riain Appointed Principal – 1/4/1946; Principal Scoil Eoin Baiste, 1972-1981.

Thomas D.Quirke Trained De La Salled 1926- 1928; Principal pro.tem. - 24/10/1928-7.4.1929; sub. - 1/12/1930-21/3/1921.

Daniel Roche Bom - 15/2/1903; appointed Monitor — 1/7/1918; left 30/9/1919.

John C.Roche Bom 23/12/1885; appointed 1/10/1905; trained St.Patrick’s College, Drumcondra 1907- 1908; diplomas 18/10/1910; left - 3/6/1916; Curraghs N.S. 1916-1917; Principal of Male school 1/10/19 17-4/9/1928.

Nora Roche Born — December, 1885; appointed – 7/7/1908; trained in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick 1906-1908; Principal of Female school; left - 1/10/1945.

Charles Ryan Trained - Model School 1938. Cecilstown N.S. - until September, 1842. Appointed – 1843 (aged 27).

Ellie Ryan Trained — Limerick 1905-1907; appointed - 1/10/1907 (aged 22); left — 6/1/1908.

Anne Scanlon Sub. - 1959.

Eliza Sheahan Appointed Monitor – 1/12/1865; assistant - 1/11/1868.

Jeremiah Sheehan Appointed - 24/9/1877.

Norah Sheehan Trained - Limerick 1906-1908; appointed — 6/7/1908 (aged 22); Principal of Female school.

Bridget Shine Monitor - c. 1886.

David Shine Principal of Male school; left - May, 1885. A

Eugene Shine Principal of Male school May, 1885-March, 1890.

Mary Shine Principal of Female school c.1864; left - 14/8/1885.

J .Shine Monitor c.1875.

James Walsh Appointed - 1/11/1868; left 17/1/1870.

John J .Walsh Appointed - 11/1/1904.

Bridget Walshe (nee Dennehy) Born — 8/11/1890; appointed Monitor – 1/7/1905; trained in Our Lady of Mercy College, Carysfort 1911-1913; appointed Assistant – 1/7/1911; diploma — 1916; left - 22/10/1923.

Catherine Walshe Sub. - 6/9/1927-20/12/1927.

Sources (Education in Kilbrin):

Coolahan, John, Irish Education - History and Structure, (Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, 1981).

Hickey, D.J. and Doherty, John E., A Dictionary of Irish History, (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1980).

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, (1826).

Folklore Commission, (1938)

National Archives Office,


EDI/14 No. 248



ED1/14 No. 284


ED1/17 No. 220


ED1/18 No. 70


ED1/18 No. 127


ED1/18 No. 276



ED2/10 Folio 112


ED2/10 Folio 118


ED2/200 Folio 42


ED2/200 Folio 43


ED2/200 Folio 49


ED2/200 Folio 50


ED2/201 Folio 38


ED2/201 Folio 39


ED2/202 Folio 5


ED2/202 Folio 7


ED2/202 Folio 12

ED2/202 Folio 13

ED2/202 Folio 90

ED2/202 Folio 91


John Hannon

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