Réidh Reamhar (Reyrawer) National School, Reyrawer townland, Co. Galway
NGR: 153849, 201664
Reyrawer (meaning thick field or mountain plain) National School is situated in the uplands of the Slieve Aughty Mountains in the parish of Peterswell (Kilthomas), south-east Co. Galway. Today, when standing in the doorway of the school house, surrounded by the coniferous forestry plantations, the elevated aspect affords excellent views of the karstic landscape of the Gort lowlands to the south. Despite the fact that the uplands are today abandoned, there are a maze of small roads and field boundaries through the forest lands and across the fresh hillside. The 1911 census shows 14 families living in the townland of Reyrawer at that time. Nonetheless there is now a great sense of emptiness in this landscape. With many of the vernacular houses of those who once lived here being swallowed up by the forestry plantation, the school building feels like the last reminder of the communities that once populated this area.
This is a detached one-room school house with an attached entrance hall to the south. Inside, the suspended timber floor has begun to collapse, though the pitched roof remains in good condition, with the interior remaining protected from the elements. To the rear of the main building is the former toilet block while to the west lies the cast-in situ concrete schoolyard shelter.
Among the past pupils of the school is Patrick Glynn, member of Kilbecanty Coy. Irish Volunteers, Co. Galway, 1917-21. Glynn was born on the 17th February, 1891 at Lisbrien in the parish of Kilbecanty, Co. Galway and attended the Reyrawer National School until he was about fifteen years of age.
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.