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A Brief History of St. Mary’s P.S. Cabragh

In September 2008, St. Mary’s P.S. Cabragh  will be open 40 years. Not much when you say it quickly, but to put it in perspective some 1200 children and thirty school staff have entered our doors and left again. However a number of our more senior staff still remain to keep our school guided carefully along in the 21st Century.

In 1968, our parish priest, Fr. Michael Walls, appointed Mr. Thomas Peter O’ Reilly (Tullyallen) as first principal of our new school.

Mr. O’Reilly had been principal of Tullyallen P.S., Mr. Joseph Sheehan (Appointed principal of St. Mary’s in 1976) had been principal of Killeeshil P.S. and Mrs. Winnifred Mc Donald had been vice-principal  in Cranlome Primary School. These three country schools were amalgamated in 1968 to form St. Mary’s Primary School,  Cabragh.

The original building had five classrooms and a school canteen. Our first teaching staff in 1968 were,
Mr. T.P. O’Reilly, Mr. J. Sheehan, Mrs. W. Mc Donald. Miss Rita Quinn (to become Mrs. Mc Girr) and Ethna Kelly.

Over the years our staffing has not changed very much but due to marriages, promotions, rising and falling school numbers and regretfully deaths we have experienced some changes. Below is a list of other past and present teaching staff.

St. Mary’s grew in pupil number to almost 240 children, mainly due to the construction of some 50 new houses “Ackinduff Park” on White’s Road. Numbers declined over the years to some 160 children but now thankfully, pupil numbers are approximately 200 again.

We received a much needed structural face lift and two newly built classrooms in 2004. This was greatly needed and leaves St. Mary’s now with a facility to cater for the needs of our children well into the 21st Century.