Affane/Sluggara National School, Sluggara townland, Co. Waterford
NGR: 212065, 98137
Affane/Sluggara National School is situated in the townland of Sluggara just east of the Blackwater River in Co. Waterford, not far from the N72 national route, and just southeast of the village of Cappoquin. Today this small village straddles Bóthar an Mhachaire and comprises little more than a church, the former school house, and the ruins of the former school masters house on. At the time of the 1911 census in Ireland, just five families are recorded living in the townland. Providing further social and historical context to the National School is Affane House situated nearby. It was the property of Samuel J. Power in 1906 and valued at £32. Brady notes that the house incorporates material from the late seventeenth century house owned by the Greatrakes famly.
The school building remains in use today as a parish hall, and comprises a detached four-bay single-storey national school, dated 1914, on a T-shaped plan retaining original fenestration with two-bay single-storey gabled projecting lower shared porch to centre. It has a pitched slate roof on a T-shaped plan with red clay ridge tiles, red brick running bond chimney stacks, cut-stone coping to gables, and cast-iron rainwater goods on timber corbels. There are unpainted rendered walls with cut-limestone corbels supporting gables, and cut-stone date stone/plaque. The windows are square-headed openings with cut-stone sills, and 6/9 timber sash windows. There are square-headed door openings with tongue-and-groove timber panelled doors. The building is set back from road in its own grounds with a random rubble stone boundary with lime mortar, and red brick quoins to the ends, cut-stone coping, and rubble stone piers with wrought iron gate. To the rear, a high dividing wall runs down the centre of the schoolyard segregating boys and girls.
Directly across from the school building is the former school masters house. It is in poor condition with some early furniture from the school house stored inside including the school desks.
Sluggara is a well-composed modest-scale school, built to a standard design prepared by the Board of Works on behalf of the Board of Education, and which conforms to social morals of the period in the arrangement of a classroom block accessed by a shared porch having separate entrances for male and female pupils. Although now apparently disused, the school retains the original form and massing, together with important salient features and materials, which enhance the character of the composition. The building ceased being used as a national school in 1972.
If you or someone you know attended this national school, please do get in touch and share any stories, anecdotes, photographs, or any other memories you may have.