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The Forties

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 'Forties

 Back in the '40s when I taught in Shraigh access to second-level education was minimal. Thus, the whole onus of equipping people for life fell on the National Schools. It had to develop in its students literacy,

numeracy, oracy and self-confidence; as well it had to cater for arts and crafts, music and environmental studies. In this regard the achievement of Shraigh National School was outstanding. It's past pupils, without the benefit of second-level education, were able to fill posts and professions which nowadays would challenge third-level graduates.

Since leaving Shraigh I have taught in many schools — urban schools with all modern conveniences. However, I can say with all honesty that I have never come in contact with such natural talent; innate sense of the aesthetic, love of sport and rich philosophy of life as I encountered there. The one sad feature about Shraigh was this: over 90% of its past pupils had to leave to find their living in foreign parts. Their success

abroad sadly reminds us of the contribution they might have made at home had the opportunities been available.




P. J. Walshe

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