HISTORY OF SCOIL MHUIRE AGUS IOSAF
Scoil Mhuire agus Iosaf is an amalgamation of St Joseph’s Boys’ NS & Mary Immaculate Girls’ NS established in 2014. The history of both schools follow below:
HISTORY OF BOYS’ SCHOOL
St Joseph’s Boys’ National School opened on 1st July 1952. Although the plaque on the front wall states that the building was completed in 1951, the roll books begin on 1st July 1952.
St Joseph’s Boys’ replaced Camphill National School which had separate boys’ and girls’ schools under the same roof. The Camphill Girls’ School closed in 1923 and the girls transferred to classrooms in the new convent in Collooney until Mary Immaculate Girls’ NS opened in 1928. The boys continued to be taught in Camphill until St Joseph’s opened in 1952.
The teachers at the new school were Michael O’Hart (Principal) and Mrs Mary Tonra (Assistant). Mr O’Hart retired in June 1966 and was replaced by Daithi O’Colchuin. Paddy Cawley in turn replaced him in February 1969. Paddy moved in from Lisaneena where Tommy Kilcoyne who was the principal of St Lassara’s N.S, Ballinacarrow, replaced him.
The late sixties and early seventies were a time of rationalisation in primary education with amalgamation the feature of the day. The then parish of Ballisodare and Kilvarnet was not exempt from these changes and on the last day of September 1971, three schools in the parish were closed. These were Kinagrelly, Lackagh and Lisaneena.
The pupils from the first two, which were one teacher schools, were brought by bus into Collooney schools. The teacher in Lackagh, Mrs Kathleen Kerins moved to Collooney Boys’, while Mrs Breege O’Donoghue the teacher in Kinagrelly moved to Ballinacarrow school. The pupils of Lisaneena school were brought by bus to Ballinacarrow. Their two teachers, Mrs Eileen Tighe and Tommy Kilcoyne moved to Ballinacarrow school with them.
To cater for the influx of pupils, two chalets were provided by GWI and by the late seventies, St Joseph’s was a four teacher school. These wooden structures were later encased in solid shells of concrete, as they were rapidly deteriorating and one of these still stands.
Kathleen Kerins retired after only one month in St Joseph’s and was replaced by Dympna Lannon. Dympna Lannon retired in 2008 after 37 years of service. Tony Bolton became Principal of St Joseph’s in September 1979 and gave 30 years of dedicated service, retiring in 2009. Principal, Shane O’Meara took up his post in September 2009.
HISTORY OF MARY IMMACULATE GIRLS’ NS
The Sisters of Mercy came to Collooney in 1909. Their home was in Main Street where they remained until the present convent was built in 1923. From the Main Street they travelled each day to teach pupils in Camphill NS. When the convent was built in 1923, three rooms on the ground floor of the convent were used as a Primary School for girls who were transferred from Camphill.
In 1928, a new primary school for girls was built consisting of three classrooms, a hall which was used as a cloakroom and outdoor toilets. A grant for the school was given by the Department of Education and the local contribution was donated by the Sisters of Mercy in Swinford. The same school is there today. It is situated within the convent property on the Old Boyle Road. In the 1970’s the primary schools of Kinagrelly & Lackagh amalgamated with the Collooney primary schools. This necessitated the building of a pre-fabricated classroom at the Girl’s School.
In summer 2010 the main school building was re-roofed and the whole school re-wired. A badly needed new heating system was installed in summer 2011.
SCOIL MHUIRE AGUS IOSAF
Scoil Mhuire agus Iosaf was formed in 2014 when the boys’ and girls’ schools amalgamated. This formed a senior school on the grounds of the old boys’ school and a junior school on the grounds of the old girls’ school. The principal over the newly amalgamated school was Mr. Shane O’Meara.
When the amalgamation with St Joseph’s Boys’ NS was sanctioned this necessitated the building on of a small extension to house indoor toilets for girls & boys. Everyone was glad to say goodbye to the outdoor toilet block which was converted into a new office/staff room. The Sisters of Mercy once more came to our aid & donated a piece of land adjacent to the school which was excavated & tarmacked in 2014.
The old prefab was demolished in 2014 and replaced with a new classroom, resource room & toilets. This classroom initially housed Junior Infants but in the summer of 2018 it was converted to house our ASD class and adjoining sensory room.
In order for girls to be accommodated in the Senior School, it was necessary to build an extension to the existing boys’ school main building. This was completed during the summer of 2014. The extension also included an office space which became the principal’s office. This project also included the pumping of insulation into the cavities of the original building and a resurfacing of the flat roofed part of the original school building.
Our new Principal, Mr. Paul Colreavy took up his post in September 2018.
Two further prefabs were installed at the Senior School in the summer of 2018 and Senior Infants and first class moved to the Senior School.
An ASD class was opened in September 2018 at the Junior School and the other two classrooms both became Junior Infant classes for the first time in the school’s history.