Saturday, December 28, 2019

My Primary School #Carnew

Me. Carnew N.S. (1965).
Today, while on my way to see my Mum and Dad, I stopped off at Scoil Aodán Naofa (St Aidan's School) in Carnew, south Co Wicklow, where I went to primary school. To me it has always been simply "Carnew National School". I attended this school from 1964 to 1971 (aged 4 to 11).  As it was built in 1958 (the year before I was born), it was a relatively new school at the time. There were four classrooms (seen in first picture below), later extended to six with the addition of two prefab buildings at the back of this building. There are more buildings added since I was at school here.

I have only patchy memories of my time in this school. My first teacher was Mary Keating - a woman who took no nonsense and who ruled the classroom with a ruler. I can barely remember who else was in my class, I did bump into one (BB) last summer after a round of golf in nearby Coolattin - otherwise since 1971 I have rarely met my classmates. I can remember the names of only four teachers: Mary Keating (Junior Infants), Mr Hennessy (3rd class - I forget his first name), Seán Hallahan (4th class), and Frank Fitzgerald (5th class). I did not complete 6th class in Carnew and was sent instead to an Irish school in Trabolgan, Co Cork. I often wonder what would have become of me if I had stayed in Carnew, and not gone to Roscrea for secondary school. I still consider Carnew (Curnoo!) as my home town (even though I was a reared three miles outside the town), as this is where I went to school. Did I have a Curnoo accent (probably), rather than the posh South Dublin one I have now (according to my daughters)? 

There are now forbidding "Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted", "CCTV in Operation", and "Staff Only" signs at the school entrance - I would have loved to checked out the school and to see if the yard at the back is still there. Us country students used to have our lunch outside in shelters (the townies could go home for lunch), and the field beside the yard doubled as Croke Park/Lansdowne Road/Wembley. Alas - I has to look at Google Satellite Maps to see that all has changed since I left 48 years ago in 1971.

My entire life has been involved in education - Carnew National School is where it started.

Carnew National School - old buildings from 1958.
What was my first day at school like (in 1964)?

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