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History of Whitechurch National School

Whitechurch National School was founded in 1823.

  • There are very interesting record books of the school’s early years, and these books are kept in the Museum of Education, The College of Education , Rathmines. There is also the specification document for the building of the school and teacher’s residence in 1823. It cost over £400 then. J. D. La Touche, of Marley House nearby, was actively associated with the construction of the school and Teacher’s residence. The record book would be extremely rare.​

  • This school building served as a school until 1990 when, due to the large amount of urban development here, a new and larger National School was opened, just across the road from the (old) school. The school building had 4 classrooms and a PE Hall built with Government funding and also funds raised locally by parents and parishioners. 

  • A Prefab was very quickly added to make 2 more classrooms, bringing the total to 6. 

  • A new two-classroom extension, sanctioned by the Department of Education and Science, was added in 2008 to replace the prefab classrooms.

  • Due to a very high level of demand for places at the school, in 2016, a further extension comprising 2 addtional classrooms, a new entrance and reception area, offices and Support Teaching rooms. Our school today has 8 single grade mainstream classrooms, 4 Support Teaching rooms, a pupil library, a PE hall, astroturf sports pitch, school garden and large playing areas. The staff consists of 8 mainstream class teachers, 4 Support Teachers, SNAs, an Administrative Principal, School Secretary and a Caretaker. Just over 200 pupils attend the school from the age of 4- 12. 

  • The former school and former teacher’s residence (1823-1990), located adjacent to Whitechurch Parish Church, which are both listed B buildings, and are of particularly attractive style, were in poor condition. A major project of the restoration and development of these buildings has recently been completed. These buildings provide an important facility for parish and community use and service. It has been very beautifully restored.

  • The Old School and the former teacher’s residence are in the grounds of Whitechurch Parish Church, Whitechurch Road, D16. The New School is about 50 yards down the road, on the opposite side of the road.

  • A former Principal of the school, Harold Hislop, obtained his doctorate for his study of the school system in Ireland from 1800-1840. He wrote a very interesting article on the Old School, when the restoration and development project was launched. He would estimate that the Old School and teacher’s residence here would be one of the very best examples in the State of Schools of that period. So, it’s very encouraging to see their current restoration.

  • In the early 1980’s, a local history book on this area was produced entitled ”Behind the Scenes” by Ernest Shepard.

  • It contains many interesting points of information on the history of the school including a chapter based on the information in the old record books, such as the price of quills, ink powder, bonnets, cotton reels, slate pencils, over the period 1825-1839. It is also noted that Miss La Touche from Marlay House (now Marlay Park) at times came across “to teach sewing”. And sadly there was frequent “white washing” because of the Cholera at that time.

'A School Story' by Canon Horace McKinley

Retired BOM Chairperson, Canon McKinley, recently wrote an account of the recent history of the school- from the time it reopened in the seventies up until the present day. Please click here to take a look. 

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