|Clare County Library||
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | Search this Website | Copyright Notice
|Tiermaclane National School|
Tiermaclane National School: 1864-1888 by Aoife de Buitléir
The Education Inquiry
Report 1824 lists two hedge schools in Tiermaclane:
In the 1830s, two local landlords established schools
for poor families. Colonel Burton converted a cow-house into a school
at Buncraggy, while John McDonnell, Esq., of Newhall built a new school
for the children of Killone (Power, 1987, p. 20).
The Stanley Education Act of 1831 established the national school system in Ireland. John McDonnell consented to let his Newhall school become part of that system, and the Commissioners of National Education accepted it. From April 1838, they paid the teacher’s salary, and supplied furniture and books (Power, 2004, p.279). The Parliamentary Gazeteer of Ireland, 1845, reported that in 1840 there was a national school at Newhall, salaried with £12, with 75 boys and 46 girls attending.
This Newhall school relocated to the chapel at Ballyea crossroads around 1860. As Tiermaclane N.S. was located at the cross of Ballyea, and its rollbook begins in 1864, it would suggest that this original Newhall school evolved into Tiermaclane N.S. In a personal conversation (11/10/2009), local historian Dr. Joseph Power agreed with this assumption. Tiermaclane N.S. remained in operation here until 1887/ 1888 when it was incorporated into a school newly-built beside the chapel – Ballyea N.S., – which still exists today (2010).
Tiermaclane National School
The first male enrolment took place in 1865, on May 23rd, when William Reidy, aged 6, son of a widow from Tiermaclane, registered. There were just two male enrolments that year, and only one the following year. The largest male intake occurred in 1872, when 22 boys enrolled. A total of 280 boys enrolled during the school’s lifespan, and their ages ranged from 4 to 17 years.
Generally speaking there were many more boys than girls in Irish education before the famine, but after 1850 they got the same educational opportunity, at least in the Killone area (Power, 2004, p.282). According to the figures above, Tiermaclane N.S. actually educated more girls than boys.
Students came from all the surrounding townlands - Ballyea, Ballymacooda, Ballyvolligan, Barloughra, Bearnageeha, Buncraggy, Darragh, Dromadrehid, Drummeen, Drumquin, Edenvale, Hempfield, Islandavanna, Kilglassy, Killerk, Kilmorane, Kilmore, Knockanira, Lackanaskagh, Lisheen, Lismaelbrida, Newhall, Raphae, Rathmeehan, Reghfa, Shanacool and Tiermaclane.
There were also transfers into Tiermaclane N.S. from no less than 36 other schools during its fourteen years existence. These included:
James Hehir, author of Lack N.S.: A History of the School and Its Pupils suggests that
Occupations of the parents of Tiermaclane N.S. pupils ranged from those typical of rural life to those associated with employment in the great houses and demesnes of the area. They included caretaker, carpenter, coachman, constabulary, dealer, engine driver, farmer, gamekeeper, ganger, gardener, gauger, gentleman farmer, herdsman, labourer, pensioner, shoemaker, shopkeeper, sub-contractor in the slobworks, smith, steward, teacher, timekeeper, and umbrella-maker. Some of these related to the huge land reclamation project which took place nearby at Islandavanna on the river Fergus in the 1880s. (Spellissy and O’Brien, 1987, p.46). Up to seven hundred men were employed there during the summer months, most likely including the gangers, timekeeper and sub-contractor listed above.
The entry for my great-great-grandfather appears on page 21 – Patrick Mahon, aged 10, son of a shoemaker from Killerk, transferred from Killerk school in April 1872. This is the only official record of his existence as a child, as my family has been unable to locate any birth or baptism records for him. He was one of fifteen children of John Mahon (a shoemaker by trade in the 1870s according to the register but described in Guy’s Directory, 1893, as a shopkeeper and bootmaker) and his wife Ellen Curry. Patrick’s siblings Kate, Mary, Bridget, Ellen, Thomas and Michael also appear in the Tiermaclane N.S. registers. The family was unusual in that all fifteen children lived, with all but three emigrating to America. Two of those three – Michael and Ellen – are buried in the graveyard at Ballyea church. The remaining person, my ancestor Patrick Mahon, having begun life as one of fifteen children of a poor shoemaker, ended his days in relative prosperity as the station-master in Mallow, Co. Cork. He is buried in St. Gobnait’s cemetery there with his wife and son.
Aoife de Buitléir, August 2010
Frost, James (1906) County
of Clare: Irish Local Names Explained
Hehir, James (2004) Lack N.S.: A
History of the School and Its Pupils
Mills, A.D. (2003) A
Dictionary of British Place-Names, Oxford University Press, 2003.
O’Donovan, John (1839) Ordnance
Survey Field Name Books.
Power, Joseph (1987) A History of Clare Abbey and Killone Published privately.
Power, Joseph (2004) A History of Clare Castle and Its Environs. J. Power, Ennis.
Spellissy, S.& O’Brien, J. (1987) Clare: County of Contrasts Published privately.
Weir, Hugh (1986) Historical, genealogical, architectural notes on
some houses of