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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


St. Brigid's National School - De La Salle

Bagenalstown 1932


St. Brigid's National School - De La Salle, (Boys class) Bagenalstown 1932.

St. Brigid’s National School – History

In 1865, Fr. Morrin, P.P. of Bagenalstown, had a new national school, St. Brigid’s, built, on the site of the present school. It had three classrooms and a cloakroom. In 1868, he invited -Br. J. A. Hoare, Superior General of the Irish Christian Brothers to send Brothers to staff the school. He bought a home, adjacent to the school for £230. Br. Patrick Barry was transferred from Borris Idrone, to be the first Principal, and a teaching Brother and a lay Brother accompanied him.

Fr. Morrin died in 1881 and he was succeeded as Parish Priest by Fr. O’Neill who had been P.P. in Graiguenamanagh. Relations between Fr. O’Neill and the Brothers, strained. The cause was money. The parish, was probably in, great debt at the time. St. Brigid’s had been built in 1865. The teachers’ residence in Ballinkillen had been enlarged in 1883 and a major reconstruction of St. Andrew’s church was in progress.

To make matters worse, £1000, which Fr.-Morrin had invested in the Hibernian Bank, for the upkeep of the Brothers, failed to pay dividends. Fr. O’Neill wanted the Brothers to register under the Board of National Education and have their salaries paid by the government. The Brothers refused and Fr. O’Neill refused to hold the annual collection for them. They withdrew from the school in 1886. A Mr. Conwell was teaching in the school up to 1893. In 1893, Monsignor Burke, the Parish Priest, who had been President of Carlow College, established St. Joseph’s Academy and invited the De La Salle Brothers to staff both it and St. Brigid’s National School. On September lst 1893 three Brothers arrived in Bagenalstown.

They were Br. Gall Deasy, Superior and Principal of the school, Br. James Stakett and Br. Martin Crawford, cook and housekeeper. They began school on September 4th. 117 boys being present. A Mr. McSwiney, a classics teacher, aided them. Latin, was taught in the cloakroom as well as other subjects connected with the Academy. Some classes were also taught in the Monastery sitting room.

The Academy became independent in 1896 when Mr. Terence Flood replaced Mr. McSwiney. As a matter of interest, Br. Gall, the Principal was 23 years of age and Br. James was 2 months short of his 21st birthday. It cost the parish £700 to bring the Brothers to the town. £196 of this was received when a special collection was made on October 9th when the renovated. St. Andrew’s church was rededicated. Dr. Shennan, Bishop of Waterford preached the sermon on the occasion in the presence of Dr. Lynch, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. Unfortunately, there are very few references to school attendance after that. Any figures that I could find, refer to average attendance. This was calculated from the 1st of September of one year to the same date on the following year. Thus the average attendance for the following were.

Source: Bagenalstown Parish website


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