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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Leighlinbridge National School

History in the making

History in the making:
Lost plaque from 1729 returns to its old home

The Nationalist. Tuesday, June 04, 2013 

A LITTLE bit of history was made in Leighlinbridge on Saturday 25 May when an old plaque, missing for generations, was returned to its original home.

The old Boys’ NS on School Lane, Leighlinbridge was originally built as a chapel way back in 1729 but was transformed into a boys’ school in 1826. To remind people of its origins, it proudly bore a plaque that stated “this house was built in the year of Our Lord 1729 by its inhabitants”.

Martin Nevin with the plaque from the Old Schoolhouse in Leighlinbridge dated 1729
Pic: Michael O'Rourke

However, according to historian Martin Nevin, the plaque was later removed from the building and placed on a nearby house “for some unknown reason”.

It was demolished in the 1950s and the historic stone ended up in another house, which belonged to Jack Bennett.

Jack subsequently built a new house, and it was eventually bought by Frank Mulvey in the 1980s.

Martin knew about the existence of the plaque and had been searching for it for years but it somehow remained elusive until fate intervened.

The Mulvey bungalow had to be demolished in the ’90s because the land was needed for a new road. Before they vacated the house, though, Frank’s wife asked him to dig up one of her favourite rose bushes so she could bring it to their new home.

Frank subsequently got busy with a shovel to uproot the plant but, suddenly, he hit something hard and unmoveable.

He had, in fact, unearthed the elusive plaque with his shovel after years of it being hidden away from the public.

Frank met Martin two years ago on a trip to Scotland with the Carlow Historical Society and told him about his find.

Calls were made and before you could say “the rest is history”, it was agreed that the rightful place for the plaque was back where it started.

And so, on Saturday 25 May at 5pm, it was reinstated on the former Boy’s NS by its last school principal, Michael Somers, while Martin also gave a brief talk.

“It’s a really old building that’s been there for centuries and it will still be there for generations to come,” he concluded.

Source: The Nationalist.


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