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Ballinkillen School

ballinkillen_schBallinkillen, Co. Carlow

Principal: Ms Michelle Doorley

Tel: 059 977 5153

Deputy Principal: Ms Aideen Beaton

Email: bkns.ias@eircom.net


Ballinkillen N.S. is a four teacher rural school situated near the foot of Mount Leinster in the parish of Bagenalstown/Muine Bheag, Co Carlow. There are four mainstream classes: Junior & Senior Infants, First & Second Class, Third & Fourth Class and Fifth & Sixth Class. We also have a Resource Teacher and a Shared Learning Support Teacher. At present, there are 109 children on the roll.

Principal: Ms Michelle Doorley
Deputy Principal: Ms Aideen Beaton
Class Teachers: Ms Alicia Manning
Ms Emma Murphy
Resource Teacher: Mrs Fiona Moore
Learning Support Teacher: Mrs Aideen Beaton
School Secretary: Ms Anne Geoghegan
Number on Roll: 109 (63 boys and 46 girls)

Newsletter Christmas 2005

School News Page
At this special time of the year we would like to wish all the children, parents, teachers, Anne, Mary and Tom a very Happy Christmas and we hope to see everybody again on Monday, January 9 th.

Christmas Ecumenical Service
We would like to thank everybody who played a part in our joint Service with St. Mary’s N.S. It was a great success and thanks to all the parents, children and teachers especially Ms.Castle for all their efforts.

Vacations and Closings
School will close on:

  • Thursday December 22 nd @ 12.00 noon – Hurrah !!! and will re-open on
  • Monday January 9 th @ 9.20 a.m. – Ah!!!

School Christmas Mass
Our school Mass will take place on Tuesday 20 th @ 11.30 a.m. All parents, relations and friends are welcome to attend. Our Infant class will be “strutting their stuff” in their Christmas dramatisation during the Mass.

Christmas Plays
The Senior Infants, 1 st Class, 2 nd Class, 3 rd Class and 4 th Class plays will take place in Ballinkillen Community Centre on Wednesday December 21 st at 7.30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

Christmas Eve Mass
The school choir will sing at the Christmas Eve Mass which takes place on Friday December 24 th at 8.00 p.m. We hope to sing a selection of carols and hymns beforehand and during the Mass. The children make this Mass a special event through their enthusiasm, their singing and their sense of wonder and awe of the Christmas season. Long may it last!!!

Newsletter Cover
The cover of our Christmas newsletter was an original work of art by Gwen Clancy-Rea, Senior Infants. The standard of entries were exceptional and gave the judges a very hard time to say the least. Congratulations Gwen and well done to all who entered.

County Indoor Hurling Finals
Congratulations to the girls team who won the County Final last week. Many thanks to Seán Sheehan for helping with training this term. The seven girls who did us proud were: Laura Dowling, Laura Farrell, Amy Kane, Maria Kinsella, Cíara Quirke, Laura Quirke, Katie Sheehan. Previously we have won this competition in 1998, 2000, 2001. Kevin Cuddy

Parents’ Association News
Fund Raising News

The Flag Day, which raised €848.00 and the Bag Packing which raised €3,280.00 were a huge success in raising vital funds for our school and our Parents’ Association. Thanks to all the parents who gave up a few hours of their time and volunteered to collect at these events. Remember, our school and our children benefit directly from all funds received at these events.

School Plays
As the School Christmas Plays will be held this year in Ballinkillen Community Centre, there will be plenty of room for everyone on the night and your support will be greatly appreciated. Admission, adults €2.00, children free. There will be a door prize on the night.
The Junior Infants will have their play on Tuesday, December 20 th at the school Mass. Good luck to all the children involved in all the plays.
Enjoy the Christmas Party and lets hope a big jolly man with a red beard and a red suit will pop in to say hello!
Thanks to all the parents who continue to attend meetings and support our Association. Seasons Greetings to all the staff, students, and the parents of the school.
David Connors, Mary Tracey, Mary Farrell.

Division 3 Boys Football 27th September 04
This game lived up to its pre-match billing as both teams gave of their all to top the qualifying group. Though both sets of players are the best of friends,the game was played in a great competitive spirit and with great determination.
The first half was an even contest, even though Ballinkillen had home advantage and both teams went in at the break 2 points apiece. In the second half Ballinlillen captain, Tom Maher scored the only goal of the game and this proved decisive . Fenagh had several chances to regain parity but the battling Ballinkillen team were not to be denied. Tom Maher had the distinction of scoring all of his teams scores and played a great captain’s part.
Others to shine for Ballinkillen were the full back line of Lorcan Kinsella,Gordon Treacy and Lauren Kinsella. In midfield, Darren Dalton played a blinder while up front Kevin Doyle was always a big threat in front of goal.
Fenagh were well served by James Cox,Craig O’Neill and Sean Murphy. Their scores were pointed by Michael Murphy(0-2)and Daniel Ivers (0-1)

Field Day
The annual school field will take place on Sunday June 20th at 2.00pm. in the school grounds. There will be lots of activities for adults and children. Refreshments well also be available.

Croke Park
Two of our pupils Marty Dalton and Lauren Kinsella were county winners of the GAA Hurling Lift & Strike Competition. They will be able to display their skills in Croke Park on Sunday June 13th. Well done.

First Holy Communion & Confirmation
Congratulations to the 2nd class who made their First Holy Communion n Sunday May 16th and to the 6th class who made their Confirmation on Sunday May 30th in St Andrew’s Church Bagenalstown.

Cumann na mBunscoil
The boys hurling team have reached the school final which will be played on Saturday June 12th in Dr Cullen Park. The girls camogie team were defeated in the semi-finals by Myshall with a score of 2-1 and 1-1

Green Flag
The school was awarded the Green Flag which was raised on Friday 21st May. The Green Flag was awarded for recycling, re-using and reducing initiatives undertaken by pupils, teachers and parents over the last two years.

Education and the Building of the School in Ballinkillen
At the end of the 18th century the great majority of children were receiving their education in hedge schools. These schools owed their name to the habit of holding classes in the open air during the summer. During the winter a landlord might provide a barn in which classes could be held. The curriculum of the hedge school was based, for the most part, on the three Rs. By the mid-1820s it was estimated that close on a half-million children, four-fifths of whom were Catholics, were being taught in hedge schools.

By a relaxation of the Penal Laws, effected in 1782, Catholics were enabled to establish schools and to educate their youth in literature and religion. The bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, Dr. James Keeffe, at once determined to avail himself of the facilities thus afforded and opened St. Patrick’s College in Carlow in 1793. At the elementary level also there was considerable activity a number of teaching orders set out to provide the poor with an education.
In 1812 a committee of enquiry recommended the establishment of a State-controlled, centralised, system of elementary education. The Government of the day was not prepared to go quite so far and instead provided a subsidy for a Society which had begun operations in 1811. This was the Kildare Place Society which had been founded to provide a system of non-denominational elementary education.

It was against this background that the Parish Priest of Dunleckney, Rev. M. Prendergast, built the school in Ballinkillen in 1810 with subscriptions of the Catholics, he contributed £50. The cost of building and furnishing the school was approximately £200. It is one of the oldest schools in continuous use in the country.
A lease of the ground was given for ever by David La Touche to trustees for the use of the public. He also donated the rents of the two annual fairs of Slyguff for the support of the school where all the poor children of his estate and the vicinity could be educated. David La Touche was a member of the La Touche Bank in Dublin and his father was first Governor of the Bank of Ireland. It is recorded that during the Irish famine his father allowed what money might be needed to buy meal for the poor to be drawn from his bank, his sons carried on this tradition of charity. David La Touche lived in Upton House, Fenagh, and Harcourt Street, Dublin.

Rev. Martin Brenan in his book Schools of Kildare and Leighlin 1775-1835, describing conditions in Co. Carlow at that time said: “The chief obstacle to the education of the Irish peasantry, at least in this part of the country, is their poverty. They have neither food nor raiment for the greater part, and even if they had, they have not the means of paying a small pittance to the master or of buying a book”.

According to Fr. Brenan’s book, the master, John Brenan, Tipperary, was appointed in 1816. He was 39 years of age and is described as being of good character. There was no fixed salary for the school; the master received £10 annually for his attention both to the school and the chapel adjoining.
School was held every day throughout the year except Sundays and holidays. Children were charged quarterly fees for the subjects they took – spelling cost 2s. 2d., writing 3s. 3d. and arithmetic 5s. 5d.

A connection was sought to be formed with the Kildare Place Society in 1824. A sum of money was sought, and received, from the Society for the purpose of procuring the necessary fixtures for the school and for building a second floor for the purpose of a female school.

The national school system was introduced in 1831. Ballinkillen N.S. appears to have been part of the national school system in 1861.
The Compulsory School Attendance Act came into operation in 1912. The obligation to send children to school every day applied to those between the ages of 6 and 14 years. The only substantial excuse for non-attendance was illness. Children who had attained the age of 12 could be absent for 10 days between 17 March and 15 May and between 1 August and 15 October in any year if engaged in light agricultural work on parents’ land. Regulations were issued preventing the employment of children to whom the Act applied at such times or places or in such a manner as to prevent or interfere with their attendance at school.

In 1960, the extension which is now the principal’ s room was added. The school was a three-teacher school at that time. In 1981 a fourth teacher was appointed. The cloakroom upstairs was used as a classroom until the first pre-fab room was built in 1984.

When the fifth teacher was appointed in 1985 the play shed was used as a classroom pending the building of a new school. However, this plan was abandoned due to Government cutbacks. Further renovations were carried out in 1990 which improved conditions for both teachers and pupils. The main building was re-roofed and all interior and exterior walls were painted. The work was carried out by Eamon Lalor, Garryhill, with heating contractors McCarthy/Blanchfield of Gowran and Byrne Electrical of Carlow at a cost of £56,000.

In 1868, Patrick Brenan was appointed Principal. His son, Michael, joined the staff in 1908 and in 1911, Mai Griffin – later to become Mrs. Michael Brenan – was appointed. She taught in the school until 1955. Patrick Brenan died in 1914 and was succeeded by Michael who died in 1922. In 1922, Michael Lawler was appointed Principal. He was succeeded in 1929 by John McDonnell who retired in 1975. The new housing development close to the school was named McDonnell Park in his memory.

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