Article from the Grange Parish Book suggested for reading this week (week 5)
Grange National School 1867-1967 This week (week 5), our suggested reading from the Grange Book focuses on the former national (primary) school in Grange where pupils were taught for over a century. The school opened in 1867 and closed in 1967 on foot of government policy.
The two teachers on the closing day, 03 July 1967, were Thomas Lynch, Principal, and Sheila Dillon. Master Lynch retired after a long and illustrious career. Sheila (who subsequently became Mrs J Fitzgerald) moved to a teaching post in Bruff NS, where many pupils of the former Grange NS were enrolled.
Two articles which are very closely linked are the suggested reading. One, written by Miriam Gallagher, charts the school history in some detail. The other, written by Helen Clancy, drawing from the available school records, names the pupils who were registered over many of the decades. The Introduction in Miriam's article was written by Michael Quinlan, who passed away recently - Rest In Peace, Michael. The following is an extract from Miriam's article:
"Referring to Master Connolly’s rare sense of humour, Patrick [Clancy] remembered one pupil who left Grange School to attend another school but returned to Grange after a short time. On the day of his return, the Master welcomed him with the rhyme – 'And like the hare whom hounds and horns pursue, he hastens to the place from whence he first flew'. The pupil then proceeded to occupy his old desk position, and there were no questions from the Master.
Master Connolly delighted in the hunt, and he would listen attentively to an account from some boy who witnessed the chase in full. He would be pleased if the fox outwitted the hounds.
Patrick recalled situations where some pupils were late in the mornings, and one pupil was despatched by the Master to see if the 'stragglers' were coming before he closed the roll book and upon arrival they would be greeted by the Master with the salutation 'The top of the morning to you Larry Muldoon'.
If a pupil gave the Master a stupid answer to what he considered a simple question, he would respond as follows – 'I am debating as to whether I will give you a running dunt or a kidney driver'. Invariably, a mere slap of his bamboo cane was the outcome. If the Master wished to establish if a boy was paying attention to him, he would - out of the blue - ask the pupil to quote from any of a number of poems that included – Casablanca, Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, Scott’s The Lady of the Lake and Goldsmith’s Deserted Village."
The following is an extract from Helen's article:
"About twenty years ago, Clancy Builders Ltd was cleaning out the basement in the old parochial house in Bruff for the then owners, John and Catherine Sheahan, when they came across some old books thrown into a skip. Three books were the Registers of Pupils for Grange School. Two of the books contained registration details for almost 600 boys, dating from 1901 to 1967. The other book recorded similar details for more than 300 girls, dating from 1919 to 1967.
Registration details for each pupil included the date of entry to school, name, date of birth, religion, residence, occupation of a parent, etc. Details were recorded in English up to 1929 for the girls and 1932 for the boys; after that they were all in Irish. Sheila Fitzgerald NT helped me to translate Irish language registrations to English and Mary Gallagher to check them again. In a very few instances, owing to translation uncertainty, the Irish names are shown in the lists that follow."
Next week (week 6) we will suggest another article for reading.
Kind Regards to All.