In the years preceding 1860 the enthusiasm of the local people to provide education was very evident and this is illustrated in the number of private, hedge and agricultural schools which existed in the local area. The original school which was built in 1860 (Regretfully no longer exists) was a testament to what education meant to the local people. The school stood where the front playground is located.
In 1860 Fr.Thomas Walsh P.P. made an application to establish a female school in Dungourney. Males and females had formerly received instruction under a male teacher and the manager thought proper to separate the departments.(Ed .File 1/18 No.99)William Mc Bride the local landlord donated the site for the building .The private school of 1837 was demolished and work began on laying the foundations for the new school. A teacher’s residence was also built on the site. It was completed in 1879.Stone from the local quarry in Ballyknock was drawn by horse and cart by local farmers. The sand was found at the rear of the school with lime to make the mortar from Kilmountain. Everything was paid for by local contribution.
The school house measured 44ft. by 21 ft. The building was divided into two rooms, one for the girls and one for the boys. Each room had five windows and was heated by means of an open fire. On the 1st March 1908 the two schools were amalgamated ‘due to decreasing numbers’.
Unfortunately this original school was demolished in 1981 to make way for the now existing school. Some of the beautiful corner stones from the original school were used in the construction of the walls enclosing the existing school. The lime-stone plaque which once stood proudly on porch of the original school can be seen on the wall as you enter the front of the existing school.
Another amalgamation took place in 1981, this consisted of Dungourney N.S. and Clonmult N.S. The new school was constructed on the existing site of the original school. It opened its doors in June 1981.A four classroom school with a beautiful hall and state of the art playground.
In the early 2000’s a change began to occur, numbers began to increase and a pre-fab was erected in the playground. In 2006 a further classroom was needed, (Leahys Bros. Contractors).As numbers continued to increase two classrooms were added to the school, these were constructed by John Cody Carpentry Ltd. and so in 2012 due to a further increase in enrolments two more rooms were built. In summer of 2013 a new entrance was developed on the Avaune Rd. and one –way system for arrival and collection of children was opened. As the school continues to grow it would appear that further development will be required. The future looks bright.
TREMENDOUS CREDIT MUST GO TO ALL THE MANAGERS,BOARDS OF MANAGEMENTS,LOCAL PEOPLE, PARENTS AND CHILDREN FOR THEIR PASSION AND COMMITTMENT TO THE DELIVERENCE OF EDUCATION IN THE COMMUNITY OF DUNGOURNEY AND CLONMULT THROUGHOUT THE PAST 153 YEARS.ALSO TO THE DEPT. OF EDUCATION FOR THEIR FUNDING IN RE-DEVEOPING ST.PETERS N.S. OVER THIS PERIOD.