Our Old Schools

Our Old Schoolroom

Here is a picture of a class in our old school.This school had been opened in 1897 replacing the first village school.
The room looks entirely different to our new school.It had no central heating nor modern technology.

The ex-teachers pictured below served in this school.

Here is an indication of the conditions which Existed in our old school yard. Boys and girls play areas were separated by a high wall, which by now had disappeared. An outside toilet, seen here in the background, was another feature of these nineteenth century schools

Pictured here, left to right are four former teachers of the school, Neans Ui Shuibhne, Siobhan Bn. De Gul, Sean O h-Eachthigheirn and Sile Ui Mhurchu at the opening of the new school in November 1986. Beannacht Dé ar anamnacha na marbh.

A Hedge School

One such hedge school operated in this little house in Ahacunna, a remote wooded part of our area , in the valley the river Toon.

Movements in this area would be difficult to detect.

The Penal Laws

  • The Penal Laws drove the catholics under ground.

  • No catholic was allowed set up schools act as teacher or send his sons to be educated abroad. Hedge schools were constructed in secret locations like this one in Ahacunna.

  • Tradition also points to another school, possibly in Clohina.

  • With the relaxation of the Penal Laws pay schools; in which the teachers were paid by the parents; were set up.

  • The 1826 report on Education records two such schools one at Shanballyshane under the scholarly Sean Maistir O Conaill, who taught Latin and Greek, came from Kerry and had previously started schools, one in Clohina and another Ballyvoige in the present graveyard in the village, as shown in tis photograph.

    In 1826 the pupils here were taught by a Mr.Mc Carthy and a Julia Connell.

  • Annual salaries averaged from £10 to £15. This money was contributed by parents, and, occasionally by other agencies.

  • The buildings themselves were often in a very poor state of repair, and furthermore were rarely built for educational purposes.

  • Under the Education Act 1831 the village school became Ballyvoige National School This continued until May the third 1897 when the pupils marched behind the fife and drum band to their new school across the village.

    This is now the community centre and we are seen here on a visit.

  • Our present school was opened on November the seventh 1986 in a two and half acre site quarter of a mile west of the village.

  • Read about Coolavokig school, which was amalgamated with ours, some years ago.