Education in the area before the National School

Before the National School was built, there was a type of hedge school or pay school in the Pallasbeg area. According to the Report of the 1825 Commission on Education this school was run by James Hayes and functioned for 7 months of the year for which the said James Hayes earned 12 euro. This money came from the pupils: the fee for 'spelling' was one shilling and eight pence: for writing, two shillings and 2 pence: for arithmetic, four shillings and four pence and for Latin, eleven shillings.

The school in Pallasbeg was held in a "thatched mud" house and, in 1825, there were 90 pupils attending. The site of this early " school" is unknown but there is a tradition that there was a school in Wheelers, now O'Malleys. Aid from the Societies were requested by Father Ryan of the parish of Doon for the school in Pallasbeg as late as the 24 June, 1824 as, he says " the people in this parish are extremely poor", in his letter requesting aid. What happened to this school and its teacher after 1856 is unknown: perhaps the teacher died.

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In the 1850's applications were made from the parish of Cappamore to the Commissioners in charge of the national Schools for the establishment of schools at Tineteriffe, Bilboa and a Girls school in Cappamore - the Boys' School in Cappamore did not come under the Commissioners until 1864. The National School System had been introduced 1831 and gradually existing schools and newly built schools were brought into the system.

According to records in the present Department of Education the "lease of the site of Tineteriffe School, containing 12 square perches, Irish Plantation measure, was executed in February, 1856, by Rev Francis Stowell, leasor , and Richard Laffan and William Ryan, leases, for the lives of Richard Laffan, son of Richard Laffan, leasee then 12 years of age and of Michael Ryan, then 14 years old and of John Ryan, 11 years old, sons of William Ryan, leasee, and for 31 years con-current at a rent of one shilling a year."

The school house was built in the same year, according to the report on the 18 September, 1856 of S. MacSheehy, District Inspector of National Schools. This report is quite detailed and states that the " school, situated 2 1/2 miles South - west of the village of Cappamore, which is the nearest post - town to the school ... is a substantially built new slated house, well lighted and ventilated consisting of one room, 33 feet long and 16 feet broad and 16 feet broad .... Furnished with 4 new desks, each 12 feet long and a sufficient number of seats or forms." The report states that the school was built of stone and lime and that the walls were 9 1/2 feet high that there were three windows - one 4 feet by 4 and two others, 4 feet by 2 feet 10 inches the lower sash of which could be opened vertically". The floor of the school was " clay" or mud, the door had no lock and there were no toilets or "offices", as they were then called. There was an open fireplace at each end of this one room but there was no teacher's desk, no book press, no blackboard, no clock , no board for the timetable. The inspector recommended that these should be supplied and approved a grant of 14 pounds for books and furniture as he said there was "no prospect of money from the area except maybe pupils' fees which might reach 6 pounds per annum".

Money for the building of the school had been "collected by Richard Maumsel (later Lord Emly) both locally and in England" and the Rev. J. O ' Dwyer, PP. Doon, had been appointed Manage. At the time of the inspection, there were 66 pupils present - 33 boys and 33 girls; however there were 80 on the Rolls but "attendance was everywhere thinned because of harvest work", as this was "an exclusively of the Roman Catholic religion". The inspector quotes the Protestant rector as saying "good must result from the National Schools being sown broadcast throughout the country". The school had been aided" since the month of June.

A teacher, Mr. Patrick O'Donoghue from the parish of Doon, had been appointed. He was not trained; he had attended the Limerick Model School for a month or more " to observe the mode of teaching " and had references from a teacher of Christian Brothers' school and from the head-master of the Model School expressing and opinion that "he is competent to take charge of an ordinary National School". The inspector reported that Mr. O'Donoghue was qualified as a probationer merely, that he was of good character but showed little intelligence, but that is method of conducting a school showed him to be industrious.

The books in use in the school were ' The Universal Spelling book', the 3rd and 4th books of the Board of Education and Voster and Thomsons Arithmetic. Patrick O' Donoghue was 27 years of age. School hours were from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Religious instruction were given from 9.30 to 10.00 a.m. and from 4.00 to 4.30 p.m. There was no wall around the school and the reports advised that one be built.

It is hard to believe that this one roomed school, with no facilities, was still in use up to the 1960s. The only improvement to it was the provision of a timber floor and later a cement one. Two teachers taught children to read, write, do arithmetic, learn history, geography singing etc. in such a room divided only after 1952 by a very basic curtain. These teachers and children came, each morning, into a very cold school where they had to light the fires and then keep very small children safe from the open fire. It all seems incredible now and shows the neglect of education by successive governments until the late 60s.

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Teachers in Tineteriffe National School in the 19th century

As already stated the first teacher was Patrick O'Donoghue from the parish of Doon. He walked to and from the school every day until 1866 when "he erected at his own expense and evidently with no sanction of the landlord, a residence on the site - a continuation of the School - house for which he never paid any rent" (Inspectors Report 1902). This residence was the subject of a controversy in later years. The teacher's salary, in 1856, was 14 pounds a year and was paid by the government.

In February, 1859 an a assistant teacher, Michael Ryan, aged 19, wad appointed and was "ready to submit to an examination". By then there were 121 males and 48 females on the roll but the average attendance was only 55 males and 20 females. William Molloy, aged 18, "no testimonials produced" but "likely to prove good teacher ", was appointed monitor. The number on rolls continued to remain high, e.g. 146, but, average attendance only 61. In August, 1877, the appointment of a 2nd assistant was sanctioned. By then, the teachers ere Patrick O'Donoghue, John Fitzpatrick and the new teacher, Anne, Cahill, aged 18. She had been a monitor in Cappamore Girls School for 4 years and was "competent and of good character". All three were classed as Grade 3 teachers, according to F. Eardley, District Inspector.

By now the manager was Rev. P. Cleary. Cappamore. By 1877, salaries had risen to 15 pounds with some results fees. This indicates the importance of Inspectors' reports as they determined the teachers salaries. By 1888, Anne Cahill had been replaced by Catherine O'Donoghueas temporary Assistant be Rev. John, Shelly PP. who was now Manager. Other Assistants came and went e.g. Michael Ryan was replaced by Michael Malley in 1860 who was dismissed for a time and restored "pending an annual examination" and Richard Meyrick , 1871 - 1875. Michael O'Malley was accuse of stabbing a man but the Commissioners " saw on grounds for censoring the conduct of their teacher as he was acquitted at the petty sessions of any criminal art in the affair". 1901, Anne Ryan was montress, in 1893.

The inspector complained of the continuing lack of " out offices" and, in fact, these were not built until 1899 when "dry closets" were provided outside. A porch was later added in the late 1920's. Patrick O'Donoghue retired in 1894 when " he alleged that all the furniture as well as the windows and flooring of the School house were his and was paid by the Manager 20 pounds as compensation. He continued to reside in the house adjoining the school for more than four years after his resignation". ( Inspector's Report 1902) . The new Principal was Thomas Bowman, who was a grade one teacher but who left to teach in Nicker in 1897.

He was replaced by Patrick Barry . The assistant was Mrs. Anne Mulcahy. Mr. Barry was often in trouble with the Inspectors who urged him " to make every possible effort to effect improvement in proficiency" and threatened to reduce his salary. The inefficiency of Patrick Barry and the opening of the Convent School in Cappamore meant that numbers on Roll declined to 56 by 1912. In that same year, the numbers in the Convent, which had replaced the Girls' School in Cappamore, were 181; in the Boys' School, 106; in Eyon School, 53 and in Nicker School 143 boys and 73 girls.

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List of teachers

Patrick O'Donoghue, 1856, from Doon
Thomas Bowman, 1894, from Limerick
Patrick Barry, 1897, from Cappamore
Mrs. Ellen Ryan, 1925, from Towerhill, Cappamore
Mr. Dermot Lyne, 1956, from Kerry
Michael O' Malley
J. Fleming
Richard Meyrick
Michael Ryan
Anne Cahill (later Mrs. Mulcahy)
Catherine O' Donoghue - daughter of Patrick O' Donoghue
Mary Flint
M. Meehan
Anne Ryan, Tineteriffe
Annie Aherne,1932, Caherconlish
Julia McCarthy, 1942, Cappamore
Mary T. Ryan, 1954, Dromalty

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