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The Master

We are blessed to have a super book published in 1995 on the history of our school. With permission, we have taken sections from this walk down memory lane and reproduced it here for you starting with the history of Shraigh school, written by our past principal, Nell McDonnell, followed by a school tour in 1987 described by a past pupil. We also have reproduced the articles on the recollections of past teachers. Máire Ní Ghachain tells her own story, while Mary Gaughan writes her recollections of Michael and Margaret McLoughlin, Stephen Glenn presents "A Master's Memories" and finally  P. J. Walshe who taught in Shraigh N.S. in the 1940's presents "The Forties"


Michael and Margaret McLoughlin, better remembered as "the Master and the Mrs.", taught in Shraigh School at the beginning of the 20th century. Michael, a native of Bunahowen, went to teach in Shraigh in January, 1891, after teaching for a very short time in Ballymunnelly. He received his early education at the National School, which was then attached to the back of the old Glencastle Church. After spending some time as a monitor he was trained as a National Teacher in St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra. Margaret, or Maggie Hughes, came to Erris to teach in Glencastle School. She was born in Knockaconny, Allistragh, Co. Armagh. She was educated at the local Primary School and then at the Sacred Heart Convent. She trained as a teacher in Baggot St. Training College, 1900-1902. She taught in the North for a short time after she trained but eventually came to Glencastle and met Michael McLoughlin. She then stayed in the home of Tom Cosgrove or Tom of the Glens. She was lonely, though, for her native Armagh -— its trees and orchards. Erris was bleak and bare but its people were so friendly that it made up for its bleak atmosphere. She returned to the North and from there was married later to Michael McLoughlin. They travelled from the North to Sligo and from there on the steamship — "The Tarter" — to the pier at Picklepoint, Attycunnane.


She settled back in Bunnahowen and, in 1907, a vacancy for an assistant teacher arose in Shraigh School. She got the position. In those days the mode of transport was very different from what it is today. They travelled to school by mare and trap. After a few years the old trap was replaced by a more modern version —- this one having a cover to protect both passengers and trap itself from the elements. Mrs. McLoughlin taught in Shraigh until 1934 when she was forced by illness to take a very early retirement.


"Fanny", the black mare, carrying only one passenger now in the tub trap continued to trot to Shraigh daily until 1936 when Michael McLoughlin had to retire due to his failing health.


The "Mrs." is remembered in Shraigh for her kindness and her musical talent. The "Master" is respected for his discipline. He was very strict, but fair. Ar dhéis Dé go raibh a nanamacha dílse.




The Master

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