History of our School

History of our School

Until the year 1831 the state had no involvement in education in Ireland. However, small local schools existed in many places. One such school was built in the townland of Foxrock between Mart Lane and the Magic Carpet car park in 1807. It was known as Clonkeen Schoolhouse being the parochial school of the Church of Ireland parish of “Kill of the Grange of Clonkeen”. It was funded by subscriptions chiefly supported by neighbouring gentlemen. In all there were seventy students there, mostly Catholic. Reading, writing, mathematics and English Grammar were taught.

This school was still in existence when Cabinteely Male and Female Schools were opened in what is now the Chinese & Indian restaurants in the 1840s, probably 1844. The predecessor of these schools was not “The Clonkeen” school house but a one-room thatched cabin built on the lands of The Byrne Family of Cabinteely. It cost £20 which was raised by the parish priest. There were 41 pupils and the Authorised Version of the Bible was read.

The first recognition of Cabinteely School was sought on 27th February 1845, when an application was made for state funding of teachers’ salaries and supply of books for both the boys’ and girls’ schools. The early years of the Cabinteely National Schools were troubled. In 1844 there were 46 girls and 67 boys on the rolls. The first teachers, Mr. Dionysuis O’Sullivan and his wife Margaret, both resigned in October 1847. There followed a series of short appointments, and the school was often closed due to a lack of teaching staff. In November 1849 the school was closed and did not re-open again until February 1851.

In 1860 there were 172 children on the register and it was considered that the building was no longer adequate. In 1879 there is a record of work being done in the school. In November that year Fr Nicholl of Cabinteely gave a fundraising sermon for the renovation of the school. The school closed on 27th July 1890 and reopened again on 15th November that year.

By the turn of the century the school was again deemed inadequate. The arrangement of the rooms was defective and the lighting insufficient. However, it was not until 1912 that the government grant of £1539 was made available to support the building of a new school on a two acre site at Mart Lane, Foxrock. With the relocation of the school, the name was also changed to St. Brigid’s National Schools, Foxrock. The roll books and registers show that the name of the schools changed from Cabinteely National Schools (April-June 1915) to St. Bridget’s National Schools (July – September 1915) and finally to St. Brigid’s National Schools (October – December 1915).

St. Brigid’s Boys’ and Girls’ National Schools were in the same location until November 1988, when the Girls’ School was relocated to The Park, Cabinteely. It now has an enrolment of over 530 pupils and a teaching staff of 25.