History of the School

History of the School

St. Anne’s N.S. was built in 1887 -1888. In 1887, seven Sisters of Mercy came from Sligo at the invitation of Bishop Gillooly and Monsignor Patrick Hanly.

In 1886, Fr. Neary who was parish priest of Castlerea at that time, applied to the National Commission of Education for a grant to build a new school. The cost of the school was estimated at €1125 and a grant of €750 was given. The land for the school was purchased from the Sandford Family for the sum of 200 gold sovereigns. The land also provided sites for the church, the convent and with extra space for later development.

The school building was complete in 1888 and the Sisters of Mercy began teaching on the 19th march of that year. The teachers and pupils from the old school, located near Clonalis House, moved over to the new school. Within a few months 120-180 infants had enrolled in the school, some of them as young as 3 years of age. The subjects taught in the school were Reading, Writing, Maths, Spelling, Grammar, Geography, Book keeping, Needlework, Music, French, Drawing, P.E., Science, piano and instrumental music.

The occupations of the parents were:- Traders, Shepherds, Bakers, Publicans, Shopkeepers, Tailors, Merchants, Policemen, Farmers, Peddlers, Cattle/sheep dealers, Herds, Blacksmiths, Stonemasons and Builders.

2009 saw the retirement of the last Sister of Mercy teaching in St. Anne’s N.S., Sr. Catherina, retired in this year. It was the end of an era. In the summer of 2010 the Sisters of Mercy handed over the trusteeship of the school to the Diocese of Elphin.

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