Amalgamating the boys and girls
Numbers in the boys’ school were falling and this led to bitter feuds between the two principals.
The Infant boys attended the girls school. As sometimes children started when only 3, the girls’ principal claimed the older girls were better at minding them. However she sometimes kept the boys until 2nd class. When both principals died within a year of each other the two schools were amalgamated.
- In 1931 the priest wrote to the department complaining about conditions in the school
- For the next twenty years a new school was promised so no improvements were made to the old school
- Electricity was installed in the early 50s
- In 1955, the plans were deferred as Blanchardstown was getting a new school.
- By 1970, the outdoor boys toilet had no roof and a prefab was being used as a classroom
- When Harry Allen was appointed principal he renewed the campaign for a new school
A New School
- On Feb 1st 1971 Harry Allen led the pupils up the “side road” (Beechpark Ave) to our current school where they were joined by 31 pupils from the lower road school
- The new school grew rapidly and Harry Allen became a walking principal in Sept 1971.
Schools had several important books
- The register kept the names, addresses, fathers’ occupations of children and dates enrolled.
- Attendance was marked each day in the roll book
- The daily report book kept records of each classes’ attendance and grants the school received and teachers’ pay.
- If the books were damaged or lost, the principal had to pay for new ones from his salary.
- Most of the old record books are in the National Archives and we still use these today.
- Some schools kept corporal punishment record books.
- There are records of children paying varying amounts to the school though many did not pay at all.
Who went to the old school?
The old record books tell us
- The first boy’s name on the new register in 1865 was Michael Mc Kenna who was 15 years old. His Dad was a farmer. Four other boys were registered aged between 6 and 16 years old. Occupations were listed as farmer, miller and bootmaker.
- Other occupations listed were railway porter, orphan, professor, cowman, pauper and ploughman. Amazingly, the ploughman lived in Deer Park!
- In the girls’ school, Mary Healy was the first name on the register, the daughter of a labourer. The other girls registered this day were aged were 7,10,11 and 13 but it was their first time attending school. One girl, Emily Hunt, was listed as an orphan.
- 123 children were on the rolls, but only 64 were marked present that day.