We have a long history in Killea having been established just as the government set up free primary school education for all children in Ireland in 1895.
A school was built on the grounds of the Parochial House in Killea for the boys in the area. The girls were catered for in the Convent School in the village. Killea School was over a mile out of the village, so most boys from the village attended the convent until they made their First Communion.
Then, they took the long journey up the hill to ’the master’. The Mistress taught the boys from the country-side up to first class and the master took over until seventh standard. As there was no space to play football in the school grounds, a local farmer, Mikey O’ Toole sold a piece of ground to the parish for a nominal sum to provide a pitch for the boys.
In the early 70’s it was decided by government to amalgamate small schools. Four schools in the area, Killea, Carbally, Bellake and the Convent School were uneasily thrown together. All of the schools had two teachers. Carbally and Bellake were closed. The boys were ‘bussed’ to Killea and the girls to the convent school for their education. Both schools had to extend and so a wooden structure, which contained two classrooms and indoor plumbing was purchased. The principal, Mrs Murphy, from Carbally School moved to Killea as a ‘privileged’ assistant.
Sean O Mulláin was the principal in Killea at the time of the amalgamation and campaigned for a new co-educational school to be built at Gaultier Cross when the time came. Instead, a new boys’ school was built in Killea. In 1975, the new four roomed school was completed which included a staff room and a general purpose room.
The present school still uses the 1975 building, but it has been adapted to include an office, a staffroom, a library/computer room, a principal’s office, a learning support room and a new extension which consists of a resource room with kitchen, PE storage, a quiet room and a soft play area. The teaching staff still consists of six teachers, one SNA with the addition of a part secretary, computer teacher, care-taker and cleaner.
We are proud of our history and proud to say that History is being made again with the amalgamation of the Boys and Girls School being discussed in earnest. We’ll keep you up to date on that journey too.
Keep an eye on our Blog under the News Category for regular updates on this and other news – they’ll be the Orange Posts 😊