The Deserted School Houses of Ireland book was published by The Collins Press this past week September 17, 2018. You can order a copy (signed, unsigned or with a personal note) using the order form below (€20.99 + P&P) or from the SHOP page. It is also available in all good bookshops and from the usual online outlets.
Kilnaboy National School, Kilnaboy townland, Co. Clare
NGR: 127450, 191785
Located near the village of Carron and the large turlough, (or seasonal lake) situated there, Kilnaboy National School sits in a landscape that is rich in historical and archaeological sites, with more than 90 megalithic burial monuments in the area. However, the Burren also contains monuments from the more recent past: namely the vernacular architecture of the past two centuries.
Travelling from Corofin toward Leamenah, you will pass the little village of Kilnaboy (any fan of the Father Ted TV series will know this as the location of Craggy Island Parochial House). The village is most notable for its imposing eleventh-century church which is visible from the roadside, and so the quaint features if its eighteenth-nineteenth century streetscape is very often overlooked. In recent years, the former post office here has been turned into an exhibition space, aptly named ‘X-PO’. And close by is a former schoolhouse, built in 1884, but now derelict and empty. Continue reading Kilnaboy National School, Kilnaboy townland, Co. Clare→
Coolmountain National School, Coolmountain townland, Co. Cork
NGR: 118544, 60287
A few miles north of Dunmanway in west Cork is the rural hamlet of Coolmountain. In summer, this is a particularly lush and green place, wooded and mountainous, isolated and peaceful. The land is rough but resourceful. The landscape of Coolmountain seems to have retained an authentic rural feel: the roads are poor, the houses sparse and there is a sense of timelessness about the place.
Here, just off a small local road and partially hidden by trees, is the disused Coolmountain National School; a diminutive one-room corrugated asbestos structure that is among the more unusual schoolhouses in the country
The ruins of Coolmountain National School comprise a detached gable-fronted three-bay single-storey school, built c.1945. It has a pitched asphalt roof with cast-iron ‘rainwater goods’ (i.e. gutters and drainpipes). The windows comprise square-headed openings with metal casement mullions and timber sills. It also has a square-headed door opening with a timber battened door, overlight and concrete steps. Rendered walls to the front and sides of the plot enclose a small schoolyard which can be accessed through a wrought-iron gate. The building ceased being used as a school in 1969 but was lived in until 2005. It is near collapse and unlikely to survive much longer.