• St Josephs National School. Miltown Malbay
    Principal: Aidan Looney

    After the introduction of the State System of Primary Education in 1831 an official school – originally a boys school – was established in Miltown Malbay in 1834. It was accommodated originally in what was the old thatched church at the gateway of the present Church and continued there after the present Church was built (1839) until 1862 when a new three room school was built in the Ennistymon Road. The thatched structure was then torn down. Before 1834 Education had been provided in several hedge schools – in the town itself, in Legard, Clonbony, Spanish Point and Kildimo. The new three-room school eventually accommodated the boys school, a girls school, established in 1843, and an infant’s school. These three schools with their six-teacher staff moved to the new St. Joseph’s N.S. in the Mullagh Road which was completed in l963 and became operational in 1964. The new school was very well planned to accommodate the new Curriculum and had abundant yard space for sport and play.

    Some years later the Department of Education decided to amalgamate the three Miltown schools and Dunsallagh national school and to this end 4 new classrooms, an office and toilets were built at the southern end of the existing school. The amalgamation took place in September, 1975 and since then Scoil Naomh Íosaf has been co-educational.

    Famous past pupils include Dr. Patrick Hillery, former President of Ireland and renowned piper Willie Clancy.

    Over the years the school has been well maintained and provides an inviting and versatile learning and developing space for the children of the town and locality. Since 2000 the school building also houses the “Forever Friends” playschool.

  • Rineen National School
    Principal: Nicola Sheehan

    Rineen National School was established in 1869. At the time the children of the locality had to go to school to Moy, a long enough journey in those days when children had to go to school on foot. Before the establishment of Moy National School the area around Rineen was served by three hedge schools, one in Freagh Vallen, by the sea, roughly behind the present school and run by a Mr. Dwyer, one, a smaller one, in Freagh Castle, roughly opposite the present Freagh Graveyard run by Mr. Holland and one in Ballyvaskin run by a Mr. Connor – this school was really in the townland of Carrowkeel in the northern triangle of the junction between the Kilfarboy road (L2112) and the road back to Illane (L21122) – it was called the Ballyvaskin Hedge School after the electoral area of Ballyvaskin which was greater than the townland and included the area where the school was situated.

    One of the local priests decided to approach the local handlord’s agent to try and acquire a site for a school in Freagh but his request was turned down. He then approached the Fitzgeralds of Carrigoran House, the neighbouring landlords, and they granted him twenty five yards square which lay across the stream dividing the parishes, and indeed the diocese, and so the school was built in the parish of Ennistymon – by the map. It was built mainly by voluntary labour and the materials were supplied locally and voluntarily. It began as two schools, a boys school and a girls school, each “school” having one of the two rooms of the building. To-day it stands a striking, distinctive, mainly cut stone building on the Miltown Malbay Lahinch Road, one of the few schools in the county still in use as a school since its foundation in the 19th Century. It was thoroughly renovated, expanded and refurbished in 2009 and now boosts two main classrooms, ancillary rooms, a fine assembly hall and a fine sports pitch.

    For further information see

  • Rockmount National School
    Principal: Marie Costelloe

    Rockmount National School was built in 1864 for one hundred and fifty children at a cost of £416 including a grant of £277. It replaced Ballinoe National School and a hedge school in Carrowkeel (Ballyvaskin). Ballinoe National School which was situated close to Ballinoe Bridge on the L2118 was established in 1852 and it in turn had replaced a hedge school situated on the same site. This hedge school was run by Mr. Thomas Nash and catered for two boys and five girls. Children from the locality also attended the Carrowkeel (Ballyvaskin) hedge school which was situated in the northern triangle of the junction between the Kilfarboy Road (L2112) and the road back to Illane (L21122). It was run by Mr. Timothy Connor and catered for twenty eight boys and seven girls.

    Rockmount National School first opened its doors in 1865 with Mr. Ned Kennelly Principal of the Boys’ School and Mrs. Curtin Principal of the Girls’ School. Originally the room on the eastern side was the Boys’ School with a partition allowing two teachers to work.

    Similarly, the Girls’ School had two teachers. The total pupil population was up to 150.

    The two schools amalgamated on January 1st 1936 with Mr. John Kennelly as Principal.

    The school was built from local stone taken from nearby quarries. One feature in each hallway was a stone trough which was used as a “foot bath” for the bare footed children of the time.

    Rockmount National School stands over 600 feet above sea-level with a beautiful view of the broad Atlantic, the Shannon, Cliffs of Moher, the Macgillycuddy’s Reek and the Twelve Pins in Connemara.

    Over the past twenty years the school has been extended, completely refurbished and a playing pitch has been developed adjacent to the school.

  • Scoil Iosef Naofa, Magh
    Principal: Áine Fleury

    Moy National School was opened in 1846 at the old school house, now the Tommy White Memorial Community Centre. The site there had been given to the Catholic Church by the landlords, the Fitzgeralds of Carrigoran house, in the earlier part of the 19th Century. The parish began to build a Church on the site but this was left unroofed and unfinished.

    In 1846 it was roofed and established as a national school. Before that education had been provided at a hedge school just one hundred meters east of the newly established national school – on the right hand side of the L1074. The National School operated in this building until 1959 when the present school was built a few hundred meters away. It became a Scoil lan-Ghaelach in1981.

    At present it is a thriving school with three classrooms, a fine assembly/all purpose hall and a playing pitch.

    In January 2010 a new facility was opened at the school – “Cairde Nua” pre-school. This facility provides a great opportunity for pre-school children to get acquainted with our Irish Language in a happy and jovial atmosphere and to continue to develop their language skills in Scoil Iosef Naofa.

  • St Josephs Secondary School, Spanish Point
    Principal: Paul Reidy

    Second level education began in the parish in 1929 when the Sisters of Mercy opened St. Joseph’s Secondary School in Spanish Point. This school has developed and expanded over the years always meeting the challenge of the times. It became co-educational in the later 1970’s and to-day provides comprehensive secondary education for the local catchment area.

    A vocational school also opened in the parish, in the Ballard Road, in 1939 and it also served the area well over the years always adapting to the times and eventually amalgamating with St. Joseph’s, Spanish Point in 1977/8.

    For further information on St. Joseph’s see the jubilee publication (2010) “Salty Faces and Ferocious Appetites” and