History of Forgney NS
The picture to the right is of the old school, showing the teachers and parents on strike for better conditions for the pupils which had been reported as being in a fearful condition,
Extract from the book ‘Primary Schools in County Longford 1800-2000‘ compiled by Jimmy Casey, John Earley, Sean Cahill. Published in 2000.
Parish of Forgney
Foirgneamh – a building
‘Munis the brother of St Mel, was sent by Patrick on a mission to Rome and on his return, Patrick established him in Forgney’.
In the 1826 Report four schools were listed for the parish of Forgney.
The Parish school to which “the rector contributed £2 per annum and Dowager Countess of Rosse £8 per annum” was at Cornamuckla and in the charge of James Gardiner. There were 23 Established Church and 27 Catholic pupils of whom 28 were boys and 22 were girls.
In a school “held in the chapel” of Forgney Micheal Bohanna was master and had 3 Established Church and 47 Catholic pupils – 36 boys and 14 girls.
In Cloghan in “a mud wall barn” John Kenny taught 4 Established Church and 32 Catholic pupils of whom 30 were boys and 15 were girls.
In the 1938 Folklore collection there is a reference to the existence of hedge schools in Forgney: “About 100 years ago hedge schools existed in my district. In Creevaghmore where a cottage now stands there was a hedge school. Lessons were taught in a hut. A schoolmaster from Toome taught in it. His name was Billy Walsh. He lodged at night in farmers’ houses. The pupils brought him sods of turf under their arms every day and a penny or twopence every week. Irish was taught but not as much as Latin and other languages. The teacher had the only books in the school. Writing was learned on a slate. The teacher didn’t remain long in each place.”
This school dates back to 1822 when it was held in the chapel for some years previous to building the present school. This building had accommodation for 100 pupils. It was taken into connection with the National Board on 9th October 1834 and received the roll no 860. It had a later Roll no 1170. The teacher was John Murphy, a classical scholar. John Robinson’s school aided by Lady Rosse was the only other school in Forgney. The committee was Laurence Walsh, Peter Adlum, Rath and Rev Matt Fullam, Moyvore.
The applicants were: Roman Catholic – Rev M Fullam PP, John Adlum, Laurence Walsh, Edward Moran, Peter Garahan, Patrick Kearnes. Church of Ireland – Robert Sandys, JP, Hobson Creagh, JP, Thomas Bredin, Bevan Slator, JP, Robert Dimond, Richard McLaine, William Butler, Charles Moncrieff, John Hewitt, James Butler, George Hilby.
John Murphy being a classical scholar didn’t survive too long in the system and was succeeded by John Hobican.
An inspection on 30th August 1837 reported unfavourably that there were “No lessons or rules and it was a miserable school.”
On the 2nd July 1838 the resignation of teacher John Hobican and appointment of James Allen is reported.
On the 8th March 1839 Rev P. Kiernan states that he has been appointed correspondent in room of Fr Fillman who has left the parish.
On the 9th July 1839 change of teacher – John Flinn for James Allen – from the 19th June is reported.
On the 4th November 1840 John Flinn is reported to be attending training school.
Brian Rooney left on the 18th December 1841 and was succeeded by Edward Malonet who was appointed on 25th January 1842.
On 15th March 1842 it is recorded that Rev Thomas Fox has succeeded Rev P. Kiernan as manager/correspondent.
On the 6th August 1847 the inspector reports the resignation of Edward Maloney and the appointment on the 12th April 1847 of John Coffey.
“Withdraw salary from teacher from 1st November 1850. Inform manager.”
Patrick Carey was appointed principal on 1st November 1850.
In 1856 John Allen is principal.
In 1862 the manager Rev Edward Seery is anxious to build a new school. He wrote to the Board of Education on 5th July:
“Gentlemen, I have got possession of a site and an have at ay moment a lease executed for 999 years from Mr and Mrs Lennon who have tge lands around if fee. The school to be vested in trustees, myself acting as one. The expected attendance will e about 60 including males and females, i am to be the manager myself. I think one schoolroom to be sufficient for a aster and wok mistress – the latter to ace as a junior assistant. The site is all that could be desired having a beautiful spring well within the plot of ground.
Edward Seery, PP, Moyvore.”
On the 31st December 1862 Lewis Harkin, district inspector, wrote to the Board:
“Gentlemen, I beg to inform you that the Rev E. Seery, finding it impossible to carry out his intention of building a school on the site proposed at Forgney and for which he had applied for a building grant is at present in treaty with the Hon King Harman for a more suitable plot of land.”
A new school was built and M Fagan was principal until 8th April 1864.
On the 8th February 1866 there is an application for salary for an assistant and it is reported on by John Bradford on 19th Mach 1966 as follows:
“Forgney NS has two apartments 20.5dt x 18.5 ft and the teachers are Patrick Dalton and Mary McDermott. Mary McDermott is aged 20 and was employed before in Newbrista NS, Co Westmeath from the 1st August 1863 to 20th September 1865. She started in this school on February 8th 1866. She was classed in 2nd division of 3rd Class at the examination for teachers in the district held in Mullingar in august 1864. She is a very competent teacher. As the attendance is so large and lately likely to increase and as there are two rooms in the house I recommend the application particularly as Miss McDermott is well fitted for the situation.”
£16 salary was granted to Mary McDermott as assistant from 1st February 1866.
The principal Patrick Dalton was replaced by James Dennany on 2nd August 1869. Elsie Keegan, assistant succeeded Mary McDermott from 26th January 1874.
Kate Farrell (later Cooke) was appointed principal from 18th February 1872. Alec Simpson was the inspector, In 1908 Rev James Conlon was manager.
In 1912 Kate Cooke, has Brigid Costello as assistant. Mary Dodd was substitute in 1912.
Mrs Cooke retired from 1st July 1912 on full pension of £34 per annum and was succeeded by Brigid Costello. Mary A. Dodd now became assistant. Miss Finnergan also taught here.
Mrs B Higgins became principal on 20th December 1932.
Rev J. McManus, Moyvore was manager in 1939. He was succeeded bu Rev Thomas O’Connell in 1950.
Patrick Fallon became principal on 29th May 1952 adn Mrs Brigid Kerins was assistant. Maire Bean Uí hUiginn was substitute for principal in 1955.
The next principal was Máire S. Ní Mhaolain.
Other teacher’s to serve here were Maureen Belton, Mary Donovan and Carmel Kelly.
The staff in 2000 was Seamus Ó Ceallaigh, principal and Maire Bean Uí Dhullaigh.
The present school was erected in 1969 and the current principal is Adrian Coughlan.