Schools - Then and Now (Part 1) (Shanoule, Kilgarvan, Caroreigh, and Tottenhamgreen)

Maria Colfer, Michael Doyle & Margaret O'Gorman


Shanoule schoolhouse is listed in the Tithe Applotments, taken in 1824, as being on 1 acre, 2 roods and 15 perches. The records of this school prove elusive. The famous folklorist and author, Patrick Kennedy, went to Shanoule around 1813 where he resided with relatives of his mother, whose names were Murphy. They appeared to have been well- to-do farmers. His purpose seemed to have been to attend a commercial school run by one whom he calls 'the famous Martin Doyle of Shanoule'. This Martin Doyle is the well known educationalist, Rev. William Hickey, a Church of Ireland rector who later founded the famous Bannow Farm School.

The Shanoule school was housed in the building which is presently owned by the Hayden family and which was formerly occupied by the Fox family.


There is a record of a hedge school in Kilgarvan in 1835. This school was kept by Owen Murphy and instruction was given in Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Roman Catholic Catechism. The school was supported by quarterly payments of 2s.6d. contributed by each child.


Caroreigh school, which is listed in the old records as Caro-Reigh, was established on 1 November, 1852 in the townland of Caro-Reigh in the then parish of Kilgarvan in the postal town of Taghmon. It was on chapel grounds and was a slated stone one-roomed building 45' long 17' wide and 14' high. It was a non-vested school, built entirely from local funds. The application for the establishment of the school was made by the Roman Catholic priest Rev. Andrew Kehoe. The incumbent of the Church of Ireland had a bible school at Shanoule and was opposed to the National School system.


The first teacher was Bernard Curry, aged 19 years, who had previously taught in Cullenstown. His salary was 11 per annum and when he left in 1855 he was earning the princely sum of 14 per year. In 1853 the school was closed all during February except on the 7th. and on the 21st. because the teacher was ill and the weather was cold.

The teachers who taught in the school from 1855 until 1868 (when the schools of Caroreigh and Tottenhamgreen were amalgamated) were - Wm. Singleton, Pat Evoy, M.J.Connor, Mr. McCabe, Pat Somers and Walter Power. It seems that teachers' salaries were withdrawn and restored quite regularly on the recommendation of the inspector of the Board of Education. Some of the misdemeanours which incurred this penalty, included: incompetency, tampering with the roll books or not adhering to the timetable.


The local priest was the school manager and he also conducted religious instruction classes which were given outside of official school hours, either after school in the evenings or on Saturdays. In December 1858 the inspector ordered that all religious instruction - prayers or other religious exercise - were to be restricted to the time set apart for that purpose as notified on the time table. In 1861 the school was closed from 5 May to 1 June because the children were attending a mission.


This school was established in 1854 in the parish of Horetown. The building that housed the school is now the residence of James and Joan Whitty, Modubeg. When the application to build a school in Tottenhamgreen was submitted to the Commissioners appointed for administering the funds placed at the disposal of His Excellency The Lord Lieutenant, for the education of the poor of Ireland, an objection was lodged by the Protestant Rector because the Protestant parochial school at Shanoule was within one mile. The school went ahead anyway. The building then measured 34'x 15' x 10'. It was one large schoolroom and had all new slates. The floor was of roughcast clay. It had new furniture comprising four large desks, four forms newly made, one very large long table capable of accommodating twelve writers, one press for holding books and three large windows - two in front and one in the rear. However, there was no blackboard, no clock and no board to attach the timetable. The hours were 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m in the summer time and apparently the hours were changed for the rest of the year to 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Religious instruction was in the evening when all the Catholics were dismissed and Rev. Andrew Kehoe took them into his care. The regulations laid down by the Commission stated: schools to be kept open on certain hours 4 or 5 days a week for moral and literacy education only and the remaining one or two days be set apart for religious education to be approved by clergy of respective persuasions. Reverend Andrew Kehoe, the then curate at Caroreigh, was manager of the school and he paid a nominal rent to a local farmer whose name we do not know.

It was a fee-paying school and the charge amounted to two pounds and ten shillings a quarter. The fees were paid by the Catholic population and there were 280 Catholic families in the area at the time. The money went towards the repair of the school. However, the manager agreed to admit gratuitously thirty free children. The attendance at the school when it opened, was seventy five pupils. The teacher was Ms. Anne Molloy and she received a salary of 15 per year. It was not unusual to have regular inspections in schools in those days and whenever an application for a grant was made an inspection was always carried out before aid was given. In 1856, an inspection report indicated that the windows were unsatisfactory and should be made to open from top downwards and the floor was to be boarded or tiled, the room to have a ceiling fitted, a fire grate procured, the site was to be cleared and a proper fence and entrance gate put in place. The application, which usually included remuneration for the teacher, was rejected at first. Ms. Anne Molloy, had been teaching in Ramsgrange before this and was dismissed for falsifying the accounts and being idle and inattentive to the students. However, Fr.Kehoe sent a letter to the Commissioners pleading her case and stating that she is now keeping accounts very regularly. The inspector, when he came, reported that she seemed a very deserving person and was highly thought of by the applicant (Fr.Kehoe) and parents so that he wrote I think she might be restored and he recommended that the grant be made.

This building - now the Whitty residence at Modubeg housed the Tottenhamgreen school which closed in 1868 Photo kindly supplied by Jim Whitty

Caroreigh Old School

In 1858 Mary Fardy was teaching there and was replaced by Eliza Power in 1859. She was succeeded by a Sarah Walsh who remained until 1863. During this period, roll numbers began to drop and the manager was asked to stimulate larger attendances. In 1864 the school was under scrutiny again as an Inspector discovered a child, whose mother was Protestant and stepfather a Catholic, was present at religious instruction. The mother was informed about this but said she did not mind. However, the manager was cautioned because he had not notified the Commission about this. At an inspection in 1866 the manager was complimented on the satisfactory state of the school. Unfortunately in 1868, due presumably to falling numbers, the Tottenhamgreen school was closed and pupils amalgamated with Caroreigh under the principalship of Mary Kelly.


In 1867, the Caroreigh school was closed during all of Michaelmas term for repairs and alterations in preparation for the amalgamation with Tottenhamgreen. The porch was added at this time and a partition was built to make a second classroom. When the school re- opened in January 1868 it was under the principalship of Mary Kelly. There were 83 on roll, 44 of whom were female and 43 were male. Mary Kelly had been teaching in Tottenhamgreen and was 22 years old. Her salary was 24 per annum. Catherine Dunne was appointed as Infant and Junior Literary assistant. She was 19 years old and she earned 14 per year. This young lady had been teaching in Trinity and her testimonial consisted of a certificate from a teacher of needlework. Both of these ladies taught in Caroreigh until 1903 when they retired. Mary Kelly received a pension of 35 per annum and Catherine Dunne got 19. In 1883 the teachers' residence was built with the help of a grant of 200 from the Board of Education. The Principals in Caroreigh lived here up to 1970 when the house was sold to Sean Swan.


Mary Kelly was replaced by Miss Comerford, who was her niece. She later became Mrs. Bernie and lived in the teacher's residence with her husband, Aidan. The assistant teacher was Miss O'Leary. Mrs. Bernie was replaced as principal by Miss O'Connor who married Jimmy Murphy of Shanoule. Mrs. Murphy suffered ill health and occasionally had substitute teachers, some of whom were Miss Forrestal and Miss Devereaux. During this time a Miss Killeen, from Co. Roscommon, became assistant and resided at Whitty's of Barrys Cross (now Banville's). She probably replaced Miss O'Leary. Next came Ciss Bennett, whose father was a teacher in Taghmon N.S. She married Matty Parle. In the mid 1920s, Rita Boyle (who married Sgt. Mahon of Adamstown) arrived. During her time here she produced a renowned school play called "Heaps of Money". It was staged in Camross Hall on Easter Sunday night and the proceeds went towards school funds. The cast included Aidan, Tom and John Morrissey, John Redmond, Bill O'Brien, Matty Doyle, Pat and John O'Reilly, Nan Doyle, Bea Morrissey and Katie Foley.

When Mrs. Murphy retired Jimmy Kelly was appointed as principal. The assistant teachers during Mr. Kelly's sojourn were Miss O'Loughlin (who resided at O'Gorman's, Poulpeasty), followed by Eunice McCarthy (who lived at Tom Morrissey's, Camross) and Rita Curtis. Miss O'Loughlin was renowned as an highly skilled teacher of needlework. A new school was built in 1949. Jimmy Kelly left around 1960 and Diarmuid Murray (O'Muirithe) became principal for two years before he left and eventually went to work with RTE. During his time in Caroreigh he produced a play called "An Tailiur" which was written by his father. This production was performed at an All Ireland schools Drama Festival in the Gate Theatre in Dublin and took 4th place. The cast included Billy Nolan, Annie O'Reilly, Maria Doyle, Micheal Quigley, Michael Kelly, Gerald Kelly, Tom Roche, Jim Nolan, Martin Nolan, Nicholas Stafford, Margaret Jordan and Statia MacDonald.

Miss O'Loughlin N.T. who taught in Caroreigh

Following the departure of Diarmuid O'Muirithe, Rita Curtis became acting principal until Eugene Coyle arrived. Rita's assistant was Mrs. Patsy Curtis of Carrigbyrne. It was around this time that Caroreigh became a three-teacher school. The assistant teachers during Mr. Coyle's time were Mary Murray, Mona Fortune (later Mrs. Ffrench), Mrs. Anne McLoughlin, Anne Vaughan (Mrs. Roche) and Ita Curtin. Mr. Coyle left in 1969. During the school year 1969-70 Anne McLoughlin taught the senior classes in the old school. Meanwhile a third classroom was added. The manager during this period was Rev. Henry Williams.

Eddie Dunne became principal in 1970. Ann Doyle came as assistant when Ita Curtin left. Imelda Dunne (wife of Eddie) joined the staff when Anne Vaughan left in 1975. Ann Doyle was followed by Niamh O'Shea, then Miss Walshe and then in 1980, Lou Barden arrived. In 1993 Caroreigh became a four-teacher school and Mrs. Celia Walshe was appointed. At this time, as in 1969, following the renovation of the old school, it was again used as a classroom. After much lobbying and hard work on the part of the manager, Rev. Martin Casey and the Parent's Council, a fourth classroom was added and the existing school was extensively refurbished.

An Educational Therapist (remedial teacher) in the person of Ann Nolan was appointed in 1995. She spends three mornings each week in Caroreigh. The teachers currently in Caroreigh are Eddie Dunne (principal), Imelda Dunne, Lou Barden, Celia Walshe and Ann Nolan.


The following is a list of pupils registered in Caroreigh school in the year 1900. The occupation of parent or guardian appears after each entry. All are Roman Catholics except where stated otherwise.
Patrick GrannellCamross Carpenter
James Grannell Camross Carpenter
Joseph Edwards Poulpeasty Farmer
James RocheCamross Labourer
John O GormanCamross Farmer
James Ryan Farmer
John Kavanagh Dungeer Shopkeeper
Patrick Banville Shanoule Farmer
John Murphy Shanoule Farmer
John Waters Mulmintra Labourer
Valentine Whitty Tottenhamgreen Farmer
Bernard Murphy Ballybeg Farmer
Edward Murphy Barmoney Farmer
James Redmond Modubeg Farmer
William Edwards Poulpeasty Farmer
Michael Egan Camross Farmer
James Murphy Harristown Farmer
John Boles E.C.* Camross Farmer
John Dunne Dungeer Farmer
John Banville Shanoule Farmer
James Whitty Tottenhamgreen Farmer
David Roche Camross Labourer
Thomas Murphy Shanoule Farmer
Eliza Byrne Camross Farmer
Annie Edwards Poulpeasty Farmer
Brigid Edwards Poulpeasty Farmer
Brigid Kelly Kilgarvan Labourer
Ellen Dunphy Kilgarvan Farmer
Brigid Delaney Camross Farmer
Mary Banville Shanoule Farmer
Brigid Kinsella Camross Dressmaker
Brigid Roche Castlehayestown Farmer
Mary Donovan Shanoule Labourer
Annie Brennan Dungeer Farmer
Katie Ennis Bricketstown Farmer
Katie Doyle Bricketstown Labourer
Philomena Ryan Tomcoole Farmer
Margaret Gorman Camross Farmer
Johanna Cleary Tottenhamgreen Labourer
Mary Banville Shanoule Farmer
Johanna Ennis Bricketstown Farmer
Annie Kenny Hayestown Farmer
Annie Grannell Barrys Cross Carpenter
Kate McDonald Tottenhamgreen Labourer
Brigid Whitty Tottenhamgreen Farmer
Katie Murphy Ballybeg Farmer
Mary E Whelan Hayestown Labourer
Johanna Doyle Dungeer Farmer
Mary OGorman Camross Farmer
Johanna Brennan Dungeer Farmer
Mary Kelly Kilgarvan Labourer
Mary E Doyle Dungeer Farmer
Mary Donovan Dungeer Farmer
Fanny Kendrick E.C.* Bricketstown Farmer
Anne Murphy Shanoule Farmer
Eliza Donovan Shanoule Farmer

*Established Church i.e. Church of Ireland

Caroreigh School in 1936

Back Row (L to R): Jack Banville, Aidan Ryan, Matt Banville, Val Kelly, Denny Nolan, Paddy Murphy, Paddy Doyle, Joe Whitty, Jim Whitty, Lar Banville, Lar Kelly, Dan Morrissey
2nd Row: Mary O'Leary, Josie Condon, Betty Banville, Biddy Parle,, Maurice Hayes, Maureen Ryan, Kit Morrissey, Josie Morrissey, Statia McLoughlin, Kitty Murphy, Elsie Donovan
3rd Row: Nancy Condon, Una Ennis, Molly Gorman, Tessie Sullivan,, Mae Furlong, Bridget Murphy, Molly Whitty, Maggie Sweeney, Bessie Banville, Mae Rochford, Molly Sweeney, Molly Parle, Nellie Ryan, Annie Ryan
4th Row: Billy Ryan, Statia Gorman, Nancy Roche, Nancy Sullivan, Dolly Murphy, Bridie Whitty, Ellen Roche, Bridie Doyle, Kitty Gorman, Peg Banville, Josie McLaughlin, Eileen Morrissey, Rosie Condon, Kitty Parle, Peggy Redmond
5th Row: Larry Doyle, John O'Brien, Jack Cooper, Mick Gorman, Sean McLaughlin, Jim Curran, John Hayes, Jim Morrissey, Matt Hayes, Jack Curran, Matt Banville
Photo kindly presented by Bridie Murphy, Caroreigh.

This building housed the school at Shanoule


Lesley Boxwell
Eddie Dunne
Mai Fardy
Bessie French-O'Neill
Maggie Murphy
The National Archives, Dublin
Ann Nolan
Anne Roche
Nan Somers
James Whitty


  1. Patrick Kennedy, Folklorist - A Preliminary Assessment, by James G. Delany in The Past, 1983, No. 14