Lessons in Life in Killaloe

Clare Champion, Friday, 8th January 1999

When Killaloe Boys' National School was first established in June 1841, it had a roll call of eighty-six youngsters.  Although the exact site of the school in unknown, some extraordinary detail of its operation survives to the present day. Teacher, John Moloney, and his pupils were accommodated at twelve forms and two tables while books were supplied by parents, some of whom contributed a penny a week towards the running of the school. The number of pupils subsequently rose to one hundred and thirty-one but John Moloney remained the sole teacher in charge on a salary of 12 a year.

It's all a far cry from the present day school which was constructed by local building contractor, Tom Hayes, and opened on October 4th, 1965. An extension consisting of one classroom, a general purpose room, remedial room, teachers' room and store room was added fifteen years ago. The staff of four is headed by principal, Michael Gleeson, while the school also has the services of a shared remedial teacher.

The major development of 1998 was the provision of a new computer lab at the school. A total of eight PC's are now up and running while a further two will be installed by the end of January. A fund-raising campaign in May/June of last year brought in a total of 8,000 while teacher and ICT Co-Ordinator, Margaret Egan, also pays tribute to the generosity of Dell International, the industrial partner linked into the project.

IT is currently being linked into every classroom in the Boys National School, giving every child access to a computer, while a series of courses for parents were launched before Christmas. Further courses for the general public will run throughout the spring.

A school book fair also generated great excitement in the run-up to Christmas. According to teacher, Anita Glynn, it was designed to help children discover the wonderful world of books and reading. With over three hundred titles, selected from the best of current children's publishing, the range of books was carefully chosen to interest children between the ages of four and twelve. In addition, commission earned from the book fair will go towards the purchase of books for the school library.

Another scheme in which the pupils of the school have been very active is the Killaloe Chernobyl Project, founded three years ago by vice-principal, Noreen Kennedy, and her husband, Michael. In fact, the boys themselves have raised in excess of 5,000 to date by taking part in sponsored walks, fasts and hill climbs. They have also helped to collect and box clothes, food, toys, medicines and school supplies for transport to Belarus three times a year.

Pupils at Killaloe Boys N.S. at work
on their Chernobyl projects.
Pupils from first and second class
rehearsing for their Christmas play 'Toyshop'.

Photographs by Eamon Ward, Clare Champion.

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