Transcription of printout of
Scoil an Chlochair, Uachtar Ard, Co. na Gaillimhe
Uimhir Rolla: 13439R
“From the Hands of Mercy”
Over two hundred years ago Ireland was steeped in poverty and its people was poor, illiterate and uneducated. Protestant Landlords set about proselytising the people in exchange for food and land.
Oughterard was no different. Many died from malnourishment and hunger. Those who emigrated were considered lucky. Rev. Father Kavanagh who was Parish Priest at the time saw education as the means for his parishioners to rise above poverty and starvation and become self-sufficient.
Father Kavanagh invited the Sisters of Mercy to Oughterard to sow the seed of Mercy – caring for it’s poor, sick and illiterate. The Sisters of Mercy accepted the invitation and established a convent in Oughterard where they set about caring for and teaching its people. That was over two hundred years ago and Oughterard today is a thriving town whose people are no longer poor or illiterate but who through education provided by the Sisters of Mercy from primary to secondary have put their stamp on many fruitful careers in modern Ireland. This we owe to the Sisters of Mercy who have left a legacy of two well-established schools in Oughterard. Yes, indeed a “mighty oak” has strung up from the little acorn of Mercy planted so long ago.
Sowing the seeds of Mercy – 1800’s
In October 1842, Mother Julie, FCJ travelled from London to Oughterard at the invitation of Dr. Kirwan and set up a convent on the former residence of Dr. Davies which was purchased by Dr. Kirwan near the church. They opened a small school and taught catechism and prepared the children for First Holy Communion. They did trojan work for education and in the church on Sundays where they taught catechism after last Mass.
They sister remained only on year. Due to the abject poverty in Oughterard they were not able to sustain the convent and on advice from Madame de Houet, they moved to Limerick to Laurel Hill and established the foundation there.
In 1857, the Sisters of Mercy were invited to Oughterard by Fr. Kavanagh, Parish Priest to help counteract proselytising which was very strong in the area. Four sisters from the Convent of Mercy in Galway took possession of a small house near the church eighteen years after their foundation in Galway by their foundress, Mother Catherine McAuley. A small house was provided rent free and they had the use of a field at the back provided they looked after the alter linen, vestments and church choir.
The four sisters were:
- Sr. M Ignatius Ryan
- Sr. M Paul McNamara
- Sr. M de Sales Blake
- Sr. M Stanislaus Mangan
In 1858 the Sisters of Mercy continued the education in the house vacated by the FCJ sisters.
On 14th of January 1860, Sr. de Sales call “Mrs. Blake” applied to the Commissioners for permission to open a school. The following information is gleaned from the answers submitted on the Application Form:
The School is built of stone and lime, slated and in good repair, 91’x22’ x 10. Two classrooms. There is a large schoolroom, ceiled and boarded, with dimensions 58’ by 18’. It was two windows. Infants Room: 30’ by 18’ has three windows.
Hours of instruction; 10am to 3pm. Vested in the Commissioners of Education.
There was already a boy’s school in Oughterard with an average attendance of 43 and a girl’s school with an average of 15.2. (These two schools were probably in the same building). There were two other schools in the village, one an Irish Church Mission School, attended by about 12 pupils and a Wesleyan School attended by about 20 pupils.
The school was in the grounds of the Sisters of Mercy Convent. It was erected by Mercy Community funds. No local funds. The majority of the children were free, but a few paid a penny a week. Religious instruction was from 12 to 1pm.
“There has been a National School for girls in the village for some years and judging by the attendance the people do not seem to appreciate education, at least not the girls”.
At the time of inspection, the attendance at the Convent school was 99 girls. There were 164 pupils on the roll. Neither Catholic nor Protestant clergymen offered any objections to the Sisters’ school.
On 13th April 1860, there were 160 pupils present. The Commissioners sent books for 150. In 1863, there were 345 children recorded on the rolls.
Mary O’Flaherty was the first monitor. Other monitors included Jane Kenny, Ellen Walsh, Kate Heavey, Mary Hopkins and Jane McDonagh. In 1865, Isabella Clarke was appointed as Industrial teacher, i.e. she taught needlework, crafts, etc. Sisters were not allowed to be Industrial teachers until a later date.
In 1865, four sisters took charge of the Workhouse Hospital in Canrawer, were the present carpet factory now exists. The Sisters of Mercy continued their work in Oughterard, visiting the sick, looking after the poor and teaching the women practical subjects such as cookery, needlework, knitting and sewing and religious instruction as well as looking after the church. They also ran a lace making factory where they taught the local women to make lace. The pupils grew in numbers and in 1887 application was made for a new school to cater for demand.
The application was made by Mrs. Mina Turner and Sr. M Claver.
Names on the lease:
- Sr. M Alphonsus (Elizabeth Martyn)
- Sr. M Louis (Ellen Mangan)
- Sr. M Joseph (Bedelia Skeet)
- Sr. M Ignatius (Sabina Ryan)
The trustees were:
- Bishop Francis McCormack
- Fr. Redmond McDonagh P.P.
- Sr. M Claver
A grant of £629 6s 8d was given on expenditure of £944. The school to accommodate 400 pupils. According to the classification of teachers recorded by the Education Commission of 1870 National Schools receives £17 6s ¾d per pupil while Convent Schools received £4 1s ½d. The government favoured non-denominational schools.
School building was completed on 30th July 1889. A capitation grant of 12/= per pupil was given.
In November 1890, Sr. M Celestine O’Brien was appointed Directress of Needlework on an annual salary of £24. She was aged 38 and taught 13 pupils, most of whom were from the senior classes. She had been a boarder in Loreto, St. Stephen’s Green. She taught sprigging, knitting, crochet, lace making and Mountmellick work.
In 1893, St. M Patrick Delaney was appointed as Industrial teacher. A fair amount of the caps and shawls, which were knitted by the pupils were sold at the depository of the Women’s Industries Association in Dawson St., Dublin.
The following books were approved by the Commissioners of Education:
Chamber’s new Geographical Readers, Book VI
Longman’s Standard VII Geographical Readers, United States
No Lay Assistants recognised because there were sufficient members in the community. Six sisters taught regularly. They were assisted by Monitors. In 1895, the were 183 pupils, including boys under the age of nine. In 1896, the extra subjects were Vocal Music, Drawing, Domestic Economy, French and Cookery.
The 1900’s – New Developments in Scoil an Chlochair and a New Curriculum.
In 1901 an Irish Primer was sanctioned.
Changes were afoot in Irish history and this became evident in the registration of pupils in Scoil an Chlochair.
The Irish Free State took on new freedom, The Irish language and culture began to be acknowledged and fostered throughout Ireland. The national schools became the focal point for the re-emerging Irish language and culture. Pupils were no longer registered in the “Clár Labhar” as Clancy, Faherty, Geoghegan, Healy, McDonagh or O’Malley but Mac/Nic Fhlanncha, Ó/Nic Fhlartha, Mac/Nic Eochagáin, Ó/Ní Éalaí, Mac/Nic Dhonncha, Ó/Ní Maille.
To promote the Irish culture the Department of Education offered a grant of £10 annually to pupils who spoke Irish. To qualify for this grant a Department Inspector visited the school and interviewed the children in their native tongue. Those who could converse in Irish received the “Deontas” and this was a tremendous financial boost in those days. Any who could speak the “cupla focail” applied but not all may have qualified.
In 1965, Seannafeistín National School was amalgamated with Scoil an Chlochair and the Boys school in Oughterard. Seannafeistín was in the parish of Oughterard even though it was in the Gaeltacht and equal distance from the Gaeltacht parish of Carraroe. One morning the pupils from Seannafeistín were on their way to school when they met Padraig Faherty driving a school bus. Padraig gave them the news that he was to bring them to school in Oughterard. The pupils hadn’t known until then, they were to transfer to the schools in Oughterard. Boys from Junior Infants to second class and all the girls attended Scoil an Chlochair; while the boys from third to sixth class went to the boy’s school. They spoke Irish only, so it must have been very challenging from them to settle into the new routine of getting up earlier in morning, travel seven miles on a bus to Oughterard and begin learning the lessons through English. Scoil an Chlochair were very aware of this and made the pupils welcome. In fact, having the pupils from Seannafeistín in the school brought richness to the Irish curriculum.
Mary Ann Sweeney, Michael McDonagh and Teresa Walsh were some of the first pupils to arrive in Oughterard, these names are the names of some of the pupils from Seannafeistín today.
In 1971 a new curriculum for National Schools was published. The main aim of the curriculum was child centred. Teachers availed of in-service courses to familiarise themselves with the content of the curriculum.
In 1972 Scoil Bhrí de Naofa in Glann amalgamated with the schools in Oughterard. Boys from Junior Infants to sixth class and all the girls transferred to Scoil an Chlochair and four boys went to the Boys school, approximately 17 pupils in all. As with Seannafeistín it was a huge change for the pupils, travelling the long journey to school by bus, and being in separate classrooms as opposed to the one room school in Glann. Settling into the new school was a great challenge. There were different subjects, a greater number of pupils to get to know and a long journey home on the bus. Paddy Tierney was the bus driver.
In the late 1970’s Fr. P. Considine, Curate, who loved music, brought a piano and put it in the church Sacristy. This was the first introduction to piano lessons for the pupils in Scoil an Chlochair. Mrs. Hughes and later Mrs. Maureen Gavin from Spiddal came every Wednesday and spent the day teaching piano. Pupils whose parents could afford it paid for private lessons and she took them in two’s and three’s and prepared them for piano exams. This was a tremendous boost to the school. Some of these pupils achieved great success in piano. These pupils continued learning through Secondary and even took music as a post primary subject. Sr. Joan Grimes taught music theory for examinations in St. Paul’s Secondary School.
Later the piano was moved from the sacristy, piano was taught in the Convent. Later, a piano was purchased for the primary school with the proceeds from CD sales and piano lessons continued there until parents took intervened and lessons were organised locally outside school hours.
In 1975, the Department of Education and Science introduced a new system of Management of National Schools. This was the Board of Management.
Scoil an Chlochair elected its first Board of Management. Some of the members were: Sr. Aquinas Flynn, Sr. Annunciata Fox, Margaret Carney, Kathleen Walsh, Rev. Fr. Eaton, Joe Walsh and Mary Geoghegan.
The BOM maintained and developed the school as far as resources allowed. All school activities were sanctioned by the Board.
The implementation of a Catholic Ethos was the focus of the Boards work, always conscious of the Pastoral Care of its staff and pupils. The Board worked hard, meeting monthly and researching new ideas and improvements for the school. Scoil an Chlochair were fortunate to have successive Boards who were interested in Education for the betterment of Society.
Two classrooms were divided to accommodate the increasing numbers of pupils and teachers in the school. One classroom upstairs and one classroom downstairs was divided on two.
Under the new curriculum Formal Parent Teacher meetings were held, initially these were group meetings held in the evening but later these were deemed unsatisfactory as parents had no privacy when talking about their child and sometimes parents used the forum to “get it off his/her chest”. Later the meeting was held during the day or early evening and 10 minutes allocated to each set of parents. This was a much situation as parents or teachers were able to talk about any concern they had for the child and set about helping them.
In 1984, proceeding to amalgamate Scoil an Chlochair and Scoil Chuimin Naofa ceased until a formal agreement between the Department of Education and the Catholic Primary Schools Managers Association and the Irish National Teacher’s Organisation be drawn up.
1988 Scoil an Chlochair celebrated 100 years (See Celebrations).
In 1992, the school was given a “face lift”. The outside of the school was sandblasted and coated with an anti-fungus solution.
Scoil an Chlochair initiated meetings with boy’s school to discuss the implications of the amalgamation and to co-ordinate schools’ books on a phase in basis in preparation for the amalgamation.
In 1994, the Sisters of Mercy Trustees made a gift of the property at the back of the school to the convent primary school. A 999-year lease was signed for educational purposed. This site was vacated by the secondary school upon moving to their new site in Canrawer.
October 1994, the school first Code of Conduct and Discipline was sanctioned by the Board.
In 1995, the first computer was purchased. It was placed in the Fifth and Sixth classroom and children had access to educational CD’s. This was in keeping with the school’s progressive outlook on education and providing the best equipment for the pupils and teachers. In 1997, the Board purchased 6 computers for the school, one for each classroom. Later the Department of Education provided one computer for all schools in Ireland and we got one for office use. Through further DES funding Scoil an Chlochair was able to purchase additional computers and printers, School fundraising also helped.
Successive grants and local fundraising was used to purchase digital TV and Video, update computers to include laptops and an overhead projector.
In 1995/1996, the school was granted permission by the Department of Education and Science to demolish the outdoor toilets and urinals and convert an upstairs storeroom and the remedial room downstairs into toilets and wash area for the boys and girls. The DES sanctioned the sum of £11,900 (85% of the total cost) for interim toilets but refused to grant aid the development of the schoolyard as it was deemed uneconomical considering an amalgamation between the Convent School and the Boy’s School.
The Board decided to seek quotations from local contractors and have the site developed. The Board raised local contributions to complete the project. A monster raffle netted a total of £11,097. Golf Tournaments netted £2,510 and £1,520.
The yard was levelled and tarmacked. Basketball courts were erected. The boundary was walled, and netting erected for safety. Pupils and staff celebrated the first morning by letting the children into the yard to run and have fun.
In 1996/1999, the school set up its first Parent’s Council. Its function was to support the school in planning for the future. Parents supported the school through helping at school concerts, school tours and field trips, Science Exhibitions in Galway, swimming, sports tournaments and raising funds for additional classroom equipment for the school. Parents of the school worked well in partnership with Principles, teachers and Boards of Management down through the years.
The Parents Association also helped organising parenting classes, which the school ran in conjunction with the Health Board. The main aim of these parenting courses was to support parents in child rearing in a vast changing society.
1997, Department of Education and Science allocated the Post of Resource Teacher to the school.
In 1997, the school secured a plot of ground beside the Priest’s house to start Organic Gardening. Ness Porter, a parent of the school took responsibility for promoting the garden. The garden was awarded £50 from St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra in recognition of its innovative project. In it’s first year it was awarded first prize by Eco – Lipéad Environmental Awards for its Environmental friendly approach. The prize of £500 was used to purchase a camcorder for the school. This was the beginning of Scoil an Chlochair’s interest in Digital Media. The garden won several ESB Environmental Awards in the years following. This initiative was the beginning of the Green School.
In 1997/1998 Padraig MacDonncha, Cigire Scoile, conducted a Mór Fhiosrú in the school. Mór Fhiosrú was a regular occurrence to insure the curriculum was been taught satisfactory in the school and that the DES grants were being spent appropriately. The school’s policies and plans were inspected. An inspection was carried out every 5-7 years. Scoil an Chlochair received a satisfactory report.
Bats in the attic were discovered by accident when the principle call in Rentokil to check out what she thought were vermin. As bats were a protected species The Conservation Authority was contacted and measures to clean up the attic while preserving the colony of bats were taken, it was discovered that the Pipistrelle species was in the attic, which was the first sighting in the west of the country. RTE featured the school on a Nature Programme, “Wild Track” and the Board was paid £50 for participating. Derek Mooney, RTE was only starting out on his career in television at that time.
To cultivate reading in the school, Book Fairs began to be an annual affair, Children had an opportunity to browse and purchase books to take home. The school’s commission was in the form of books received for each classroom. This was a great way to increase the book stock in the school. The County Library at the time had only a limited number of books. Later the school took a break from hosting the Book Fair. “An rud is annamh is iontach”.
In 1999, the DES issued a Library Grant of £1000 to the school. It was divided equally between the classrooms and books purchased.
1995: In response to the new White Paper, Mercy West held a seminar in Athlone, attended by the Principal.
In 1996, proceedings for the amalgamation of Scoil an Chlochair and Scoil Chuimin Naofa began. The amalgamation was proposed by the DES and supported by the Mercy Trustees.
In 1998, the school set up a Green Committee headed by Regina Fitzmaurice and Mary Burke and one representative from each class to promote the Green School Initiative. The school began with recycling paper and plastic, composting and organic gardening, conserving energy and reducing waste. The school applied to the County Council for Green School recognition and set about achieving it’s first Green Flag.
1998: The old Convent of Mercy was sold. The old convent was demolished, and the site developed into maisonettes. The plan included the side of Chlochair that was attached to the convent to be plastered and the fixing of the school wall between the two sites.
In 1999, Scoil an Chlochair began to run a programme for pupils of bereaved or separated parents. IT was called the Rainbow Programme and was deemed necessary to support the growing number of children of one-parent families. It was run after school hours and facilitated by the Principal and trained members of staff and Sisters of Mercy.
In 1999 a prefabricated classroom was erected as a temporary measure to elevate the growing space problem in the school. The Board of Management secured Department funding for this on Health and Safety grounds as the school basement was being used at that time as a remedial room.
The revised primary curriculum, launched in 1999, was the first complete revision of the curriculum since 1971. The revised curriculum is designed to nurture the child in all dimensions of his or her life – spiritual, moral, cognitive, emotional, imaginative, aesthetic, social and physical. It also takes account of the changing nature of society and aims to help children to adjust to these changes.
The curriculum is divided into the following key area:
- Social, environment and scientific education
- Arts education, including visual arts, music and drama
- Physical education
- Social, personal and health education
For Scoil an Chlochair in-service days became part of the school year so that Principals and teachers would have an opportunity to adopt the revised curriculum. The School’s Mission became the springboard for the School Plan and that in turn became the basis for each individual teacher’s class plans. Planning, implementing, evaluating, monitoring, policies and programmes became the buzz words of the day.
Before 1999 he Sisters of Mercy, having a vision for the future education, had provided in- service for the staff of their Primary Schools in preparation for the way forward. By the time the Department of Education and Science revised the Curriculum Scoil an Chlochair was already writing policies and school plans. Sr. Maria Goretti Feeney had seen such need and was to the front of innovation. She began to hold staff meetings and formulating policies, monitoring and evaluating them. The philosophy of the Sisters of Mercy was the basis for all school planning and action. The school’s first policy was Polasai na Gaeilge. The policy was most important was we had pupils from a Gaeltacht background. Integration of the marginalised and disadvantaged was always a priority in the Pastoral Care Programme of the school. Later, sr. Maria Goretti extended the planning to schools in the parish. She organised in service days between Scoil Mhuire, Doire Gloinne, the Boy’s School and Collinamuck N.S. to come together with Scoil and Chlochair and evaluate the education purpose and its contribution to the local and surrounding areas.
As part of the school’s music, drama and Gaelige the Fifth and Sixth Classes took part in Cor Fheile na Gaeltacha sa Spideal. Each year the school wrote a ceoldrama and performed in Spiddal, Mise Raftarai an File, being one of these dramas. Proceeds from school concerts were spent on percussion instruments, mathematical and science equipment.
Sports were an important part of Scoil an Chlochair curriculum. Basketball was the game of the school and Sixth Class pupils competed in school tournaments and achieved success against Scoil Mhuire, Moycullen and St. Annin’s N.S. Killannin.
Under the revised curriculum swimming became a new part of Scoil an Chlochair’s curriculum. On Friday for two school terms, pupils from second to sixth class travelled to Leisure land swimming pool in Galway for swimming lessons. The pupils moved from grade to grade as they progressed and learned Water Safety techniques.
The Sisters of Mercy adopted Child Protection Guidelines from the Health Services Executive and the Department of Education and Science and produced guidelines for all Mercy schools. Scoil an Chlochair’s attended in-service from both DES and the Sisters of Mercy on the implementation of these guidelines. Children first was the central focus of these guidelines.
A school Newsletter was launched in 1994 to keep parents and guardians updated on school news and business, The Board of Management remarked on its informative style, contributing to the building of good parent/school relationships. Glo na Scoile was a monthly publication.
Fundraising in the 1990’s was a common occurrence to support the Board of Management funds.
Teachers often ran cake sales, bring and buy sales, American Tea Parties and monies raised was lodged to the Board’s Account. Parents also helped with fundraising, Door contributions at school concerts and raffle proceeds were also lodged to the Boards bank accounts. Sums of £727, £737 and £700 were recorded. The Board appreciated all the support from the school. This money was often spent on school cleaning, maintenance, classroom equipment and purchasing books and school uniforms, paying for school tours and swimming lessons for families who were financially challenged or unemployed. The Sisters of Mercy Philosophy was always seen in caring for the marginalised and those who were on the “bread line”.
A New Millennium and the Celtic Tiger
Scoil an Chlochair welcomed the new millennium through launching a CD produced by the school.
(See Celebrations for details)
The DES launched IT200 in which each school received funding to develop IT in Primary Schools. Scoil an Chlochair purchased computers, printers, headphones, scanners and software for the school. A record of purchases was returned to the DES.
The Minister for Education and Science, in October 2001, announced the abolition of the requirement of primary schools to raise a local contribution towards their operating costs. The effect of is abolition meant that Scoil an Chlochair no longer had to lodge a local contribution to the Board of Management Account and return forms to this Department certifying that the local contribution had been lodged before the second instalment of the Departments’ Capitation Grant was lodged.
This was a great boost to the school’s funding.
In 2001 Scoil an Chlochair was selected to take part in the Fionn Science Project. This science programme aimed to promote science in the Primary School. The projects entailed producing a short film on one of the strands in the science curriculum.
The projects were as follows:
Year 1: Bats in the Attic of Scoil an Chlochair
Year 2: Paddy the Miner based on the history of Glengowla mines.
Year 3: The Life Cycle of the Trout. The film was called ‘A Fishy Tale’. This film is to be viewed in the
Galway Atlantaquaria. Scoil an Chlochair students staged a play in the aquarium entitled Fionn and the Salmon of knowledge as part of science week.
Year 4: The Zebra Mussel. This film centred on the pollution of Lough Corrib and how it was destroying the habitat of the Zebra Mussel, native to Oughterard.
In 2002 the first Green Flag was awarded. Regina Fitzmaurice and Mary Burke took charge of the project. Galway Bay FM broadcast the early morning show with Jimmy Norman from the school.
Newly appointed Minister for Gaeltacht and Rural Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív launched the Green flag. It was his first public engagement as a Minister.
Following the school’s involvement in the Fionn Science Project it was selected to become part of the FIS programme which involved the teacher and students using digital media as a resource to enhance the teaching resources in the classroom. FÍS – Film in Schools is resources and professional development for teachers and a Film festival for filmmakers in young primary classes. The program is to encourage teachers to incorporate and integrate film across all subject areas.
Films produced were:
2007: Poppy’s Treasure. The film explored digital media in the future versus the storybook. This film was selected to represent the Galway Education Centre in the FÍS Awards in the O2 building in Dublin. Scoil an Chlochair took the award for Outstanding achievement in Film Making for set and Production design.
2006: The Salmon of Knowledge. The film was based on the historical tale of Fionn and the salmon of knowledge. The students wrote their version of the story suggesting that the whole thing happened right here in Oughterard. It was a most enjoyable experience for the students, bring to life times past experiencing how long from the clothes they wore to the food caught and was eaten.
2005: Life in Scoil an Chlochair. The film focused the children on using a digital camera in the classroom, editing and producing a sequence of school life on film.
In providing the best innovation and modern technology for its pupils Scoil an Chlochair purchased two Interactive White Board for the school. These boards were connected to laptops and had internet access to source the best teaching aids and educational websites for the pupils, catering for children with special needs. Of course, these boards would never replace the interactive teacher whose creativity and personal impact is so precious.
In 2008 Scoil an Chlochair was approached by the Parish and the Board of Management of Scoil Chuimin Naofa amalgamated on September 1st, 2008, the new school to occupy the existing buildings until a new building is erected on Scoil Chuimin site.
Sisters of Mercy in Oughterard and Staff down through the Years:
- Sr. Alphonsus (Elizabeth Martyn) 1825-1911. A native of Co. Galway
- Sr. Louis (Ellen Mangan) 1831-1892. A native of Gort, Co. Galway, where her father had a mill. Many members of that family lived in Dublin. One is a Dominican Sister in Belfast and another is a Carmelite in Knock. Two sisters of Sr. Louis were also in St. Vincent’s in Galway and a fourth was in Castlebar. She also had a niece, Sr. Lelia, in St. Vincent’s.
- Sr. de Sales (Anne Blake) 1883-1906. A native of Prospect Hill, Galway.
- Sr. Ignatius (Sabina Ryan) 1832-1926. A native of Co. Mayo
- Sr. Paul (Julia McNamara) 1830-1892.
- Sr. Joseph (Bedelia Skerritt) 1831-1903. May have been related to Sr. Borgia Skerritt who was from landed gentry of New Quay, Co. Clare.
- Sr. Stanislaus (Mary A. Mangan) 1835-1881. See Sr. Louis above.
- Sr. Claver (Mina Turner) 1841-1909. A native of Co. Galway
- Sr. Patrick (Delia Delaney) 1850-1907. A native of Co. Mayo.
- Sr. Celestine (Annie O’Brien) 1862-1908. A native of Co. Clare.
1911 Census Records
- M Clare Harty, Sister of Mercy. A native of Co. Tipperary.
- M Augustine Hessian. A native of Co. Clare.
- M Gonzaga Molloy. A native of Co. Mayo.
- M Clan Shepine. A native of Co. Clare.
- M Agnes Sweeney. A native of Co. Tipperary.
- M Angela Walsh. A native of Co. Mayo.
- M Vincent Sharkey.
- Mary Healy. General Servant. A native of Co. Galway.
- Agnes Hagan. General Servant.
- Margaret Glynn. General Servant.
- Cecelia Patterson.
Scoil an Chlochair Staff
- Sr. Dympna Dunning
- Sr. Patricia Dooley
- Sr. Annunciata Fox
- Sr. Marie Goretti Feeney
- Sr. Rosari O’Brien
- Padraicín Ní Cholmáin
- Mrs. Margaret Breen from Co. Galway
- Padraicín Ní Cholmáin from Co. Galway
- Siobhán Naughton from Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo
- Mary Burke Reidy from Co. Meath, moved to Killannin
- Mary Murtagh from Co. Roscommon, moved to Galway
- Emer Curtin O’Malley from Co. Cork, moved to Maam
- Ita Corcoran from Co. Roscommon
- Renee Whyte from Co. Roscommon
- Francis O’Connell from Co. Mayo
- Áine Morgan from Co. Clare
- Margaret Mulgannon Breen from Mervue, Galway City
- Patricia Philbin Coleman from Clonbur, Co. Galway
- Regina Fitzmaurice from Tuam, Co. Galway
- Sr. Maria Goretti Feeney from Claregalway, Co. Galway
- Sr. Brid Scully from Annaghdown, Co. Galway
- Fiona Golden from Castlebar, Co. Mayo
- Colette Mhic Dhonncha from Moycullen, Co. Galway
- Emer Duffy from Moycullen, Co. Galway
- Sr. Nancy O’Farrell from Co. Clare
- Sr. Evelyn Mannion from Dunmore, Co. Galway
- Sr. Rose O’Connor from Co. Mayo
- Maire Mulkerrins from Moycullen, Co. Galway
- Grainne McGeough from Oughterard, Co. Galway
- Geraldine Whelan (Connolly) from Co. Galway
- Deirdre Gillespie from Claregalway, Co. Galway
- Sr. Joseph Quirke from Co. Tipperary
- Marie Queeney from Ballyforan, Co. Galway
- Sr. Paul Carmody from Co. Kerry
- Margaret Carney from Claremorris, Co. Mayo
- Sr. Annunciata Fox from Co. Galway
- Sr. Rosarii Ryan from Roundstone, Co. Galway
- Loretto Conroy from Co. Mayo
- Julie Greally from Co. Galway
- Sr. Madeline Mills from Galway City
- Sr. Theresa Moore from Glenamaddy, Co. Galway
- Sr, Hilary Reck from Galway City
- Sr. Patricia Dooley from Corrandulla, Co. Galway
- Bridget Brady
- Sr. Mary Sacred Heart Heade from Co. Kerry
- Sr. Maura King from Corrandulla, Co. Galway
- Sr. Francis Xavier
- Sr. Dympna Dunning
- Sr. Virgilius
- Sr. Gertude
- Sr. Albertis
- Sr. Breda Murphy
- Cormac O’Neill from Galway City
- Bernadette Padden from Oughterard, Co. Galway
- Maureen Connolly from Seanafeistin, Co. Galway
Introduced in 1994, through a FÁS Scheme (a local employment scheme to promote employment in the Oughterard area. The scheme started with two employees, funded by FÁS, and developed to a scheme of 20 participants in the Oughterard, Moycullen, Killannin schools. It was a tremendous success and ended in 19XX when the Department of Education funded Secretaries and caretakers through a grant payment to the Boards of Management).
- Tom Geoghegan Caretaker
- Joan DeLapp School Cleaning and Hygiene
- Hillary Wickenden School Secretary
- Kitty McQuinn School Cleaner and Classroom Assistant
- Anne O’Toole School Cleaner
- Anne McDonagh Classroom Assistant
- Patty O’Connor Classroom Assistant
- Lucia Fitzgerald Classroom Assistant
- Mary Burke School Secretary
- Jacqueline Smith School Secretary
- Michael Brennan School Secretary
Big Celebrations in Scoil an Chlochair
1988: Celebrated 100 Years in Oughterard. It was celebrated with Mass and refreshments in the Corrib Hotel afterwards. The Bishop of Galway celebrated the Mass. Fr. Hon Keogh gave an account of the Sisters of Mercy and commended them on the great work done for the people of Oughterard. He thanked them for their works of Mercy and their untiring devotion to education in Oughterard. The celebration was attended by Sisters of Mercy and Lay Teachers. Past and present along with the teachers of parish schools, parishioners and friends. Each Sister of Mercy and Lay Teachers received a lighted candle to commemorate the occasions, symbolising Christ as the light of the world and acceptance of handing on the faith and living the Catholic Ethos of Scoil an Chlochair.
Liturgical celebrations were an integral part of Scoil an Chlochair’s Ethos. The school year began with celebrating Mass in the adjacent church. Various school occasions were celebrated with Mass or prayer service. The school children prepared the Mass readings and prayers and sang hymns. The school year was celebrated with a Mass of Thanksgiving.
Confirmation was celebrated each year in April or May, joined by Scoil Chuimin Naofa, Scoil Mhuire, Doire Gloine and Collinamuck National Schools. Scoil an Chlochair Choir sang Confirmation Hymns and part of the Liturgy, the Gloria, Lord have Mercy, the Responsorial Psalm, The Alleluia, The Our Father, Sanctus. The choir was directed by Sr. Annunciata and Sheila Gibney, later by Patricia Coleman, Margaret Breen and Siobhan Naughton.
Children from First Class made their First Holy Communion and eventually changed to Second Class. The boys from the Boy’s School and the girls from Scoil an Chlochair joined together for the celebration of the sacrament. Later the parish became involved in the preparation of both Sacraments. Preparation programmes were run in conjunction with both schools, involving teachers, pupils, parents, Sisters of Mercy and other community members.
The First Holy Communion Class participated in the Annual Corpus Christi Procession. Pupils wore their First Holy Communion dresses and reverently strew flower petals from baskets. In the days leading to the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Sisters were busy preparing baskets, gathering flowers and filling the baskets with petals. This was a very colourful and reverent procession from the church, through the town and back to the church finishing with Benediction. The Rosary was recited during the procession. House were decorated with Alters, flowers, statues and lighted candles.
Christian Doctrine was examined annually by a priest in the Diocese and a report written. Each class was examined on prayers, bible stories and songs.
Concerts were annually at Christmas when each class performed a short play, singing, music or dancing.
1999: Scoil an Chlochair produces a CD – Cantóirí Coia Abhann – with each class performing songs in a celebration of the school heading into the third century of educating children in Oughterard, a new Millennium. The school experience setting up a recording studio in a classroom and what goes on behind the scenes to produce a CD. It was a “well worth it” exercise.
Class Songs Performed Class Teacher
Junior Infants - Oogie Boogie & One More River Ms. Siobhán Naughton
Senior Infants - Five Little Speckled Frogs & Dingle Dangle & Scarecrow Ms. Mary Burke Reidy
First Class - Tá Duine ag an Doras & Stamping Land Sr. Brid Scully
Second and Third - Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang and My Favourite Things Ms Margaret Breen (Deputy Principal)
Third and Fourth - Trasna na dTonnta, Mornington Ride & The Marvellous Toy Ms Patricia Coleman (Principal)
Fifth and Sixth - Love Shine a Light and The Connemara Cradle Song Ms Regina Fitzmaurice
2001: Christmas CD launched
Junior Infants - Santa Claus is coming to town Colette Mhic Dhonncha
Senior Infants - 1, 2, 3 Wise Men Mary Burke
First Class - Listen Margaret Breen
Second and Third - Must be Santa Rocking & Jolly Old St. Nicholas Siobhán Naughton
Third and Fourth - When a Child is Born & Frosty the Snowman Patricia Coleman
Fifth and Sixth Class - Silent Night & Calypso Carol Regina Fitzmaurice
The Sisters of Mercy accepted the invitation all those years ago to establish a Convent and School to educate the people of Oughterard and they have been doing that ever since.
Their work was that of giving and setting the example of mercy. The school reflected that mercy in its Mission Statement. Their door was open to the needy whether it be poverty, loneliness or hardship and the kind hand was extended to those who sought refuge. The Mercy Philosophy permeated through the school staff. Visitors remarked on the friendly, open atmosphere of the school and the happy voices of teachers and pupils as they went about their daily lessons. Songs were sung, games played, table and poetry recited, and history and geography learned by heart. A love of learning was fostered and when pupils transferred to secondary school they were able to take their place among other students and achieve great things.
The Sisters of Mercy not only worked in the school building but were seen to go quietly about their business, helping out in the church, among charitable groups in the parish and on Boards of Management.
Their work has indeed been fruitful. Oughterard has a thriving education system where pupils can achieve their potential and make a significant contribution to society.
Prayer of Catherine McAuley
My God, I am yours for time and eternity.
Teach me to cast myself entirely into the arms of your loving Providence
With a lively, unlimited confidence in your compassionate, tender pity.
Grant, O most merciful Redeemer,
That whatever you ordain or permit may be acceptable to me.
Take from my heart all painful anxiety; let nothing sadden me but sin,
Nothing delight me but the hope of coming to the possession of You.
My God and my all, in your everlasting kingdom.
Deceased Sisters of Mercy
Sr. Alphonsus Martyn Sr. Louis Mangan
Sr. De Dales Blake Sr. Ignatius Ryan
Sr. Paul McNamara Sr. Joseph Skerritt
Sr. Stanislaus Morgan Sr. Claver Turner
Sr. Patrick Delaney Sr. Celestine O’Brien
Sr. Clare Harty Sr. Augustine Hessian
Sr. Gonzaga Molloy Sr. Agnes Sweeney
Sr. Angela Walsh Sr. Vincent Sharkey
Sr. Albertis Sr. Gertrude
Sr. Virgilius Sr. Francis Xavier Newell
Sr. Dympna Dunning Sr. Rosari Ryan
Sr. Joseph Quirke Sr. Borgia Begley
Sr. Pius Tully Sr. Madeline Mills