Kells National School
Kells National School, as the date on the front porch
says, was built in 1875. For two years before this date a house provided
by John Foster was used as a school house, starting on 10th March, 1873.
Foster was a big landowner and did a lot for the parish at this time.
He was very much behind getting the school built. The O’Brien’s
provided the site for the school, near Lough Cullaun, north east of
Corofin. The school was closed
John Foster’s daughter, Delia, married Captain John Mathew of
Dublin (from the same family as Fr Theobald Mathew). They went to the
Gold Coast in Africa (modern day Ghana) and had 3 children, Theobald,
Kathleen and Gertrude. Captain Mathew died young of malaria and Delia
and her 3 children returned to live in Rinroe. Theobald went to school
in Kells but the girls’ names do not appear on the roll books.
Kathleen was a writer and started the comic strip Curley Wee, which
ran in the Irish Independent. Gertrude married Jerry Kelly of Porte
and after his death Paddy Joe Mellett of Mayo.
The Foster family were in Rinroe since the 1750s. John Foster’s
mother was a Burke from Normangrove and they were known as the Burke
Fosters. John Foster was good to people during the famine. One of John
Foster’s sons was a doctor attached to the workhouse in Corofin.
Another son went to Santa Barbara.
Robert Foster lived in Rinroe House and was a member of the Board of
Guardians in Corofin for 50 years. He never married, lived a high life
and was known as a ‘ladies man’. He died in poverty in 1892.
The house was demolished and the stones used for building in Corofin.