Feohanagh National School, Feohanagh townland, Co. Limerick
NGR: 134051, 126163
The rural landscape of many parts of Ireland is punctuated by small villages which, for various reasons, have fallen into decline in recent decades. In west Co. Limerick is one such village; ‘Feohanagh’ (the place of the thistles) located 5 miles south-east of the town of Newcastle West on the R522 road to Dromcollogher.
The First Edition 25 inch map (1898-1907) shows that at the turn of the 19thcentury this little hamlet included a smithy, a post office, a terraced street scene, the local church, and a two-roomed school house. Today, no shops, post office or other services remain open here, though to the north side of the R522 are the remains of the disused two-roomed national school built in A.D. 1886.
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Eyon National School, Eyon townland, Co. Limerick
(dated 1800 – 1840)
Eyon National School is situated in the rolling rural landscape of northeast Limerick, just east of Brittas Bridge on the southern side of the R505. The surrounding countryside is sparsely populated today. The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage dates this school house to between 1800 and 1840. However, it does not appear on the First Edition OS sheet for the area. The building is indicated on the Second Edition Ordnance Survey sheet dating to the early years of the 20th century:
Although now in a poor state of preservation, this former school house retains its original form. Its modest design is enlivened by the use of varied material in its construction with the limestone walls contrasting with the brickwork of the window surrounds and chimneystacks. The use of these materials adds textural variation to the appearance of the building. As was common in the early nineteenth-century school buildings, there was separate entrance for girls and boys and these still remain visible today.
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Gortavalla National School, Gortavalla East townland, Co. Limerick (Scoil Náisiúnta Gort an Bhaile)
NGR: 180869, 149139
The townland of Gortavalla East is located in the parish of Doon, to the east of the village Doon in Co. Limerick. The Slieve Felim and Mauher Slieve mountains lie just a few kilometres to the northwest but the lands surrounding the school are relatively flat. This is a rural area with fine grassland. The school building that stands here today is believed to have been constructed c.1880 though an earlier school existed in the area constructed by Danaher Brothers of Doon in 1831.
At the time of the 1901 census in Ireland, 13 families lived in the townland of Gortavalla East. Local family names included; Gallagher, Ryan, O’Donnell, Lonergan, Aherne, Buckey, Kearney, O’Brien, Real [sic] and Franklin. Undoubtedly the children of each of these families would have attended Gortavalla National School.
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