Lack School - 1863 to 1975

A History of the School and its Pupils
by James Hehir


6. The New School -
Island View National School

(b) The Pupils

Pupils returning to class

Pupils returning to class

In 1898, the year the new school opened, potential attendance amounted to 118 pupils filling the school to its capacity of 120. The records show that on the 18th October, the day following the official opening, 25 boys and 38 girls were present. Therefore, notwithstanding the novelty of the new school, almost half the pupils were absent. This is a reflection on the local attitude towards education at the end of the 19th century.

The trend in the school population covering the period 1900 to 1975 is best illustrated by the use of two graphs.

The first graph sets out the level of registrations for each decade in the period to 1969:

Registrations per Decade

Number of Pupils Registrations per Decade

The graph shows a gradual but consistent decline in registrations averaging 11% per decade in the period to 1949. The 1950s show an amazing 53% increase over the 1940s bringing the figure up to 86 which matched the 1910 to 1919 period. The 1960's registrations, at 55, are very close to the 1940s.
The first five years of the 1970's could be described as a disaster with only 14 pupils registered. In 1973 and 1975 only 2 pupils registered each year.

The second graph reviews annual registrations for the 1900 to 1975 period:

Annual Registrations 1900 - 1974

No. of Pupils Annual Registrations 1900 - 1974

The graph shows an amazing variation in annual registrations during the period. The highest individual years in the 20th century were 1953 when 17 registrations were recorded, followed by 1902 when 16 registered and 1932 when 15 registered. On the other hand the lowest registrations were in the years 1937, 1938, 1973 and 1974 when only 2 children are recorded in each of these years.

The last pupils to register at Lack school in 1974 were two girls - Sheila Hehir from Glencanane and Brigid King from Tonlegee. The last boys registered in 1972 and were John Kelly from Tonlegee, Thomas Meade from Crahera and Kieran O'Donnell from Glencanane. The following is a copy of the register containing these names:

Female Roll of 1974

Female Roll of 1974

Male Roll of 1974

Male Roll of 1974