History of the School

This being the 113th Anniversary of the old school we would like to invite you, the readers, down memory lane. Back to a time of hedge schools, hardship, and hunger. Back to a time of no computers or technology and when school was a lot harder.

There have been many memorable moments in our school‘s history through the years.

Bishop Daniel Delaney, whose photo is hanging in our main building, founded the Patrician Brothers on 2nd February 1808 in Tullow. His aim was to educate the people of Tullow Boys Monastery School first opened in 1806.

The principal was a man by the name of James Connor. He was 28 years old. There was a community of eight men in the Monastery at the time.

The school-house was thatched, it was made of mud and stone and built by the brothers at a cost of £10.

Here are some interesting facts from that time…..

  • School Attendance: 70 boys
  • Charges:3s 3d for reading, 4s 4d for writing,5s 5d for arithmetic.
  • Income £30.00.

That time they used shillings and pence as money! This first school shared a site with a secondary school in New Chapel Lane. In the early years, Infants, First and Second class had to go to school with the girls because there were not enough rooms in the monastery school for them.

But in 1910 a new school was built for pupils and it still survives to this very day. In fact, as I type this article I am sitting at a computer in one of the classrooms, now a computer room. This year we are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the school.

And in place of the wooden desks and inkwells of years ago, we now have a library, computer room, learning support classes, an art room, and a cooking room.

In 2008 a past pupil of the school, Paul Doyle, restored and fitted shelves in our library. It was previously a dreary entrance hall.

Since June 2009 the old school has not been used for mainstream classes. However with the numbers of pupils rising it might be used as a classroom soon.

In 1965 a new school was built beside the 1910 building. The principal at this time was Bro. Lazerian. Bro. Camillus Regan was the last Patrician Brother to act as principal. When he retired the school got its first female principal, Carmel O’Sullivan.

The school is very big into sports. We have football, hurling, soccer, basketball, rugby, and chess. The school has many great sporting achievements to its name.

With Mr. Fogarty in 1981 came hurls, sliotars and hurling inspiration! Since then we have won the Division One hurling championship twice – our first one in 1996 and more recently in June 2008.

In Dublin, on 31st May 2010, Deane Maher and Jack Timmons won Taek-Won-Do – 1st place all-Ireland medals. In 2008 Dan and Jim O’Leary won the all-Ireland handball championship. We have Mr.Connolly and Mr.Fogarty to train the hurlers and footballers. Mr.Fogarty has an All-Ireland medal for hurling. He won it in 1985 playing wing-forward for Offaly against Galway. Mr.Connolly has won a Setanta award for his years of dedicated sporting work with the town of Tullow.

Miss Dowling won the Carlow GAA award for ladies’ football. The list still goes on this is only a fraction of the full story.

In 1972 the infant building was built for Junior and Senior Infants. It is still there today alongside the other two schools. Mrs.Lil Lodge was the first female teacher appointed in the school.

Other rooms in this new building are the P.E room and the school’s old staff room. This is now used as a special needs classroom. Life in the school has changed a lot, even in recent years.

On the 8th February 2008, Mary Hannifin ( the previous Minister for Education and Science) visited our school to acknowledge the major involvement in education by the Patrician Brothers. It was also the 200th anniversary of the Patrician Brother’s foundation.

In the last 200 years, our school has moved on from that old thatched building made of mud and stone to a busy hub of modern technology and activity.

This year our first interactive whiteboard was installed – the first of many we hope. Indeed on this very day, June 4th, 2010, another minister, Mary White, visited us to raise our 4th Green Flag. This is to recognise the school’s awareness and care of our environment. I think Bishop Daniel Delaney would be proud of his legacy.

By Shane Jackman and Liam Alexander

There has been a school in Tullow since 1816. The teachers were John and Mary Ryan and the attendance was 50 boys and 10 girls. The Patrician Brothers opened a school here in 1910 and the tradition carries on to today, even though no Patrician Brother teaches here now. 

In April 1997, Patrician Superior Bro. Cormac Commins presented a green sash to the school to symbolise handing on the Patrician tradition, “Pro Deo et Patria” ( For God and Country).

In February 1884 Pope Leo XIII granted Bro. Aloysius Howlin permission for the Patrician Brothers to wear the green sash in honour of St. Patrick.