Clintyclay Primary School

Clintyclay Primary school opened its doors in July 1893. Jim McAlinden Senior recounted that a number of evacuees attended the school during the war in about 1943 – these included: James Boyle, William Boyle, Patrick Boyle, Sarah Boyle (Belfast); Patrick, Mary and Joseph Goggins (Glasgow) and Jerry O’Shea, Charles O’Shea, Susan Gibbons, Eileen Lane, Christina Gibbons, James Smith, William Smith, Frances Smith, Jean McCrealy and Peggy McCoey.

The building

Clintyclay school was built as a single room with no ceiling and so was open to the rafters. Swallows are said to have built inside the classroom. The front of the building was flat faced.

In 1939-40 the school went under renovation and classes were relocated to the AOH hall in Clonmore. The pupils were delighted to have Finn’s shop within their proximity. Dermot McDowell recalls a Mrs Reilly who lived nearby came to the hall to announce that World War II had been declared – this was on the 3rd of September 1939. During this time, the school was transformed into two rooms. The renovation was described by Jim McAlinden Snr (RIP) ‘A well was sunk at the front of the school and a pump installed in the entrance hall. The school was now equipped with running water and ‘flush’ toilets. Each day the ‘big boys’ had to pump water to the tank. A range was installed in the Senior room to provide heat and cooking facilities while in the infant room an open fire was the source of heat. In later years, these fires were replaced by barrel stoves’. To have running taps and flushing toilets was innovative for a rural school. Paddy O’Brien recounts that none of the neighbouring schools like Collegeland or Laghey would have had that luxury in those days.

In the booklet compiled by Mr Jim Donaghy in 1999 for the rededication of the Sacred Heart Church, there is mention of barrels which were placed outside to collect the rain water which supplied water to the flush toilets and two other wooden barrels which stood at the gable ends of the school also collecting rainwater. This publication also talks of the pupils bringing a penny to the school to purchase cocoa which was boiled in a large enamel saucepan. Bottles of cod liver oil and concentrated orange juice were distributed each week to the pupils. The staff toilet was also outside to the right of the porch area.

In the 1950s electricity and mains water became available to the school and further refurbishment took place under the direction of Dean Francis MacLarnon. A front porch was built with two cloakrooms.

Further renovation took place in the late 1990s. Mrs Anne Murphy tells of an inspection in 1998 when the inspector insisted on a new mobile and indoor toilet facilities being provided. An additional extension was added to the original school building where the outside toilets used to be.

The playground

The playground was enclosed by the stone wall which still exists today. Before the mobile classroom, this space was divided by a wall – boys playing on one side and girls on the other. The goalposts were installed in the pitch in later years which fostered many talented players. The familiar front wall and gate welcomed many generations over the years.

The staff

Since opening the following people have been permanent teachers at the school and many generations of Clonmore people attribute their education to them.

  • During 1893-1911 Miss  Irwin, Miss Steele and Miss Lennon (RIP).
  • 1911-1945 Miss Mary Hendron (RIP)
  • Start date unknown-1947 Miss Isa Igoe  (RIP)
  • 1945-1962 Mrs Nellie Lamb
  • 1947 – 1961 Mrs Christine O’Reilly
  • 1961-1982, 1986 Mrs Isa Donaghy
  • 1962-1995 Mrs Ann Logan
  • 1982-2001 Mrs Anne Murphy
  • 1995 – present Mr Barry Randall
  • 2001-2008 Ms Imelda Conlon-Porter
  • 2008 – present Mrs Caitriona Donnelly