Lack School - 1863 to 1975

A History of the School and its Pupils
by James Hehir


3. Education: Pre 1854

The Act of Parliament introducing free education in the British Isles was passed in 1831. It was implemented in the Lack/Tonlegee area in 1854. I am unable to trace any record from official sources of any school including a hedge school in this area. Reference has been made in the local parish magazine of 1985 to a famous hedge school located near the quarry adjacent to the school run by a man known as O'Brien Geanc. There were good hedge schools outside the area such as Paradise.

It is likely that limited fee paying education was available to those who could afford it from the area and that it was provided in the school prior to 1854. A number of local children benefited from pre 1854 education such as the O'Dea family from Crahera where two members, Michael and Patrick, studied for the priesthood while Michael McNamara from Leimnaleha qualified as a barrister, completing his education at Trinity College and King's Inns in Dublin. If they received their primary education at Lack/Tonlegee cross we could conclude that limited local education was available and that the quality was sufficient to progress to further education and a good career.