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The History of Knocknagree National School

Knocknagree Boys’ National School and Knocknagree Girls’ National School served the community for 125 years (1841-1966). The present school building housed two schools for 4 years (1962-1966). The main door could be used to access either school. The Girls’ School was straight ahead as you entered the door, with the Boys’ School to the right.
On Friday 12th October, all the children marched up the road from the old school to the new school building. At the time of the transfer from the old building to the new building, the two 3-teacher schools had the following teaching staff. In the new school, Mary Casey, Mary Linehan and Catherine O’Keeffe (principal) respectively taught the girls- in ascending order of classes and in the sequence of their classrooms, beginning near the main door. Teresa Sheehan, Katherine Dennehy and Matthew Daly (principal) respectively taught the boys, in ascending order of classes and progressing up the corridor.
In 1966 a major change occurred. Very soon after Mrs O’Keeffe’s retirement, Mrs Corkery succeeded as Principal of the Girls’ School, but only for a short time as the Boys and the Girls schools were amalgamated. The school became five teacher co-educational school with Mr Daly as principal of the amalgamated school. The staff now, therefore, consisted of Mr Mattie Daly, Principal, Mr John S. O’Sullivan, Mrs Corkery, Mrs Casey and Miss K. Dennehy. When Miss K. Dennehy retired in November 1968, her position on staff went to Ms. Eileen O’Connor. Mrs. Casey ended a long and distinguished period of 44 years service to the schools in 1974. She was replaced by Mrs. Joan
O’Rahilly. On the death of Mattie Daly in 1977, John Stephen O’Sullivan became principal of the school and because of a drop in enrolment, there was no replacement. At that time, the six teachers in 1962 had dropped to four in 1977. In 1993, Mrs. Eileen O’ Keeffe retired and she was replaced by Mrs. Claire Jones .In 1994 Mrs. Maura Gleeson came in a support teaching role until 2004. In 1999 on the retirement of Mr. John Stephen O’Sullivan, Mrs. Joan O’Rahilly succeeded as Principal, and Mrs. Maura Daly (took her position. In October 2002, Mrs. Mary Corkery retired and she was replaced by Mrs. Carmel O’Sullivan. In 2003 Mrs. Joan O’Rahilly principal retired and Mr. D.J. Golden was appointed principal. Under the new General Allocation model for Learning Support, a fifth teacher Ms. Marguerite Fitzgerald (Mrs.
Dineen) was appointed in 2005. Unfortunately, due to an increase in pupil teacher ratio in 2011, as of 1st October 2012, this post has now been suppressed. Currently, Carmel O’Sullivan teaches infant classes, Maura Daly teaches 1 st , 2nd and 3rd classes and D.J. Golden (principal) teaches 4 th, 5th and 6th classes, with Claire Jones as Learning Support teacher.

Matthew Daly

had joined the staff as Principal in sucession to Jeremiah Moynihan, in 1948, and served as Principal for 29 years, in the Boys’ School (1948-1966) and in the amalgamated school (1966-1977).

Teresa (Cronin) Sheehan taught in the Boys’ School (1960-1963) before she took up an appointment in Boherbue N.S. Katherine Dennehy then moved to the Infants and First classroom to facilitate the appointment of a male assistant.

Mary (Linehan) Corkery joined the staff of the Girls’ School in the old building in 1962 and 4 years later became Principal for a short interval, between Mrs Catherine O’Keeffe’s retirement and the amalgamation of the two schools. She taught for 36 years (1966-2002) in the amalgamated school.

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John S. O’ Sullivan was an assistant teacher in the Boys’ School (1963-1966) and the amalgamated school (1966-1977) and was Principal (1977-1999) in succession to Matthew Daly.


Eileen (O’Connor) O’ Keeffe joined the staff in 1968, replacing Katherine Dennehy’s position, following her retirement and taught in Knocknagree National School for 25 years (1968-1993).


Joan (Riordan) O’ Rahilly joined the staff in 1974 after Mrs Casey’s retirement. She taught in the school for 29 years (1974-2003), and was Principal for four years (1999-2003) in succession to John S. O’ Sullivan. 


Claire (O’ Sullivan) Jones became a teacher in Knocknagree National School in 1993. She taught Junior and Senior infants until 2010 and moved to Learning Support and taught up until June 2022.


Maura (O’ Sullivan) Daly became a member of staff in 1999. She taught 5th and 6th until 2006 and moved to 3rd and 4th classes. Maura taught 1st , 2nd and 3rd up until June 2022.


Carmel (Hickey) O’ Sullivan joined the staff in 2002, following the retirement of Mary Corkery. She taught 1st and 2nd classes until 2006 when she moved into Learning Support. Mrs O’ Sullivan is currently teaching Junior and Senior infants.


D.J. Golden joined Knocknagree National School as Principal in 2003, succeeding Joan O’ Rahilly. He taught 3rd and 4th until 2006, and 5th and 6th until 2012. D.J. Golden took over as principal and taught  a combination of 3rd to sixth class from 2003 to 2022.

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