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The School Tour - June '87

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"


The School Tour (June 1987)

THE day for the school tour had come at last, the day we had looked forward to so much. Everybody was at the school in time, in fact before time. The transport would be arriving at ten o'clock. The sixth class said their goodbyes to the teachers as this was their last day. Suddenly somebody noticed that Ruddy's transport had arrived at the gate. The word soon got around. Some of the pupils travelled with the teachers as there

wasn't room for everybody on the van.


Our first stop was at the weather station in Carne. Here we were received by a friendly meteorologist. We were then in time to see him sending the weather report by telex to the office in Dublin. He talked to us about air and ground temperature, the humidity of the air, air pressure, wind direction, wind speed, sunshine and rainfall. He showed us the special instruments used to measure these factors and how each is

recorded. When we were leaving the weather station the man told us that the day

would remain dry until evening. We were glad to hear this.


At Binghamstown we turned right for Mainislir na Croise. We stopped to visit the graveyard where Riocard Bairéad, the poet, is buried and we examined the old headstones. Then we moved on to see the ruins of Cross Abbey, which was founded by the Augustinian monks in mediaeval times but which was originally founded by St. Brendan in the sixth century. Here, too, we read the inscriptions on the old headstones in the graveyard. Somebody noticed the two stone slabs marking the graves of Dean Lyons and his brother, Luke. Fr. Gillespie allowed us to use his binoculars and we could see Inis Glora to the West and Dün nå mB6 to the North of us quite clearly.


Our next stop was at Elly Bay where we examined the Frenchman's yacht which had drifted aground two years before that. It was the first time we had seen a yacht and we were very excited. A short distance back the road we visited St. Brendan's Church, Tirraune. We said a prayer, then when we were leaving the church Fr. Gillespie directed our attention to the stained glass window on the North gable depicting St. Brendan and his oars.


By this time we were really hungry so we stopped at the shops in Aughleam and then headed for Fål M6r. We exchanged our crisps and sweets, even the licks of ice-cream. John Ruddy drove us to a nice sheltery spot quite near the "Blessed Well" so we unpacked the boxes, sat down on the short grass and had our picnic. After that we #had a tug-o'-war, boys v girls (and John Ruddy), but, ofcourse, the boys won and the

girls said it wasn't fair.


We then visited Dabhach Deirbhile and Fr. Gillespie talked to us about this sixth century Saint. From there we went to Cill Deirbhile, which is only a short distance from there. Here we took some photographs, including one of the Saint's grave.


We then visited the graves of the Inis Ghé fishermen who lost their lives at sea on the night of October 28th, 1927. It was now well into the afternoon and we still hadn't visited Blacksod lighthouse. We had to rush—when we arrived there the lighthouse keeper, Mr. Sweeney, gave us permission to go right up to the top of the building. From here there was a perfect view of the bay and coast. Mr. Sweeney gave a short talk on the history of the lighthouse, which was built by Bryan Carey, Belmullet, in 1866. He also explained to us about the light intensity — white being 5,000 candle power and red 1,000, flashing white/red every 7h seconds.

On our way out there was a helicopter landing on the helipad. It was collecting supplies for Eagle Island, which has since gone automatic. It was now time to go home and it had begun to rain.


Soon Ruddy's transport arrived to pick us up. We had a wonderful day and we were grateful to everybody who had made the tour so enjoyable.



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