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History of Quilty N.S.

In the 19th and early 20th Century the Quilty School area was served by a National School in the townland of Kilmurry and one km South West from the present school. It was known as Kilmurry Ibrickane N.S. It was a two room building, the rooms being divided by a timber partition. It accommodated a boy’s and a girl’s school with two teachers in each classroom. In the early 193o’s it was decided to build a new school. A new site was purchased from the late Michael Casey of Quilty. The site being the site of the old Tromore Lodge which was once the residence of the Parish Priest of Kilmurry Ibrickane. The ruin of the Lodge can still be seen at the rear of the school. The contractors for the school were Fitzpatrick’s of Kilmihil and many locals were employed in the construction. Many locals also gave voluntary labour by bringing cartloads of stones from the shore for the foundations. It was built of mass concrete. It consisted of two big rooms which were divided by folding partitions giving four classrooms. These partitions were half-timber with glass in the top portion. The two centre rooms had three windows facing south and the two end ones had an extra one facing north. A corridor ran along the north of the school and there was one door facing east. The floors were wooden and the hallway was tiled. The high ceilings were cased in wood. Three of the classrooms had fireplaces and one of the middle ones had a range. The yard was divided by a wall which ran from the western gable to the toilet block at the end of the yard. The girl’s playground and toilets were to the south and the boys to the north. These were dry toilets which were cleaned out once a year during the summer holidays. They were given a coat of lime and the walls were white washed. Adjoining the toilet block was a shed which was used to store fuel. Some of this fuel which was usually turf, was supplied by the parents of the children. The yards were grass covered with just a concrete path leading to the toilets. In winter-time they became quite muddy.

Teachers Through the Years

The school was opened in 1934 as a four teacher mixed school, the two schools having amalgamated. Canon O’Halloran was Parish Priest at the time. The teachers who were in the old school continued in the new school.

They were Mr. Thomas O’Connell, Principal, Miss Greta McMahon (who later became Mrs. Killeen), Miss Mary O’Brien and Miss. Margaret Kelly (who later became Mrs. Meade). In the early 40’s Miss McMahon left to get married and teach in Coore N.S. she was replaced by Miss Brid Frawley.

Some time later Miss O’Brien retired and she wasn’t replaced.  It was then a three teacher school with a spare room. In the late 50’s Miss Frawley left to take up a position in Mullagh N.S. and she was replaced by Miss Chrissie Brew ( who later became Mrs. Tannion). When Mr. O’Connell retired he was replaced by Mr. Bernard O’Higgins.

Mullagh N.S. Then in October 1968 Mrs. Tannion moved to Galway and she was replaced by Miss Helen Donnellan (who later became Mrs. McGrath) Mrs. Meade retired in 1969 and she was replaced by Miss Mary Hehir (who later became Mrs. Clancy). In the early70’s due to a fall in numbers Miss Hehir went on the panel and was transferred to Clonmoney N.S.   For the first time in  history Kilmurry Ibrickane N.S. was now a two teacher school. The following year due to falling numbers in the nearby Cloonadrum N.S. and the retiring of Mr. Joseph Hayes the Principal there, the Department of Education decided to amalgamate the two schools and provide a bus to bring the children from the Cloonadrum catchment area.

To Kilmurry Ibrickane school. The assistant teacher Mrs. Francis O’Dwyer joined the staff of Kilmurry. A year later due to ill health she retired and she was replaced by Mrs. Miriam Molohan. Mr. O’Higgins retired in 1979 and he was replaced by Mr. Michael Bracken. The late 1970’s saw an upsurge in the population of Quilty due to the building of a scheme of houses by Clare County Council. Many locals returned from England with their young families and the school began to grow. Mrs. Irene Meade (no relation of the previous Mrs. Meade) joined the staff in 1980 and once again we had a four teacher school. By the mid 80’s numbers continued to increase and Mr. Patrick Comber was appointed as fourth assistant. He was accommodated in a pre-fabricated building which was placed on the southern side of the wall dividing the yards.

Numbers held for five years and by then sadly the decline had begun. Mr. Comber had to go on the panel and was soon transferred to nearby Clohanbeg. The school continued with four teachers until 1998 when Mrs. Meade was put on the panel and that same year Mr. Bracken decided to take early retirement. Mrs. Meade left in October to take up a position with her old colleague Mr. Comber in Clohanbeg. Mr. Bracken was replaced by Mr. Denis O’Toole from Newport, Co. Tipperary. He stayed until October 1999.

Mrs. McGrath became temporary Principal until February 2000 when Mr. Michael Carrick from Tralee was appointed Principal.  In November 2001 Mrs. McGrath who was Deputy Principal since 1973 took early retirement and she was replaced by Mrs. Rena O'Flaherty.  Mrs. Molohan was appointed Deputy Principal.  In Sept. 2002 Mrs. O'Flaherty moved to Ennis and she was replaced by Miss Joanne Tuohy from Feakle.  Miss Niamh Quinn was appointed full time Resource Teacher also in Sept. 2002.  Sadly in June 2003 numbers had decreased and Miss Tuohy was put on the panel and she was relocated to Tulla in Sept. 2003.

Present Staff

The present staff is Mrs. Lorraine O'Keeffe, Principal, Miss Niamh Quinn, Vice Principal,  and Mrs. Agnes Collins, Secretary. Miss Sinéad Fitzgerald, Learning Support.

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Quilty National School, Quilty, Co. Clare
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