Schools of the parish

1682-85: Writing about Kilberry, Teltown, Donaghpatrick and Oristown, Bishop Dopping notes that there were no Popish schoolmasters.

(There was a Popish schoolmaster in Kilshine called Pat Drake of Mountainstown.)

1788:  On the visitation of Dr Plunkett, Bishop of Meath to Kilberry on 22 July, he found three Catholic schools in operation in the parish. Rev John Kearney P.P.
1825: There were four schools in the parish of Oristown.
1826: The report shows five schools in operation. Two were held in Kilberry. The first was held in ‘a plain thatched house’, built by subscription. The timber and situation for the house was given gratis by Mr Everard. It had thirty-four pupils. A note in the name-book describes this school.

‘A little west of the chapel is a school house built about 25 years since by public subscription and cost about £35. The late Mr Chr. Smyth left at his death £10 per ann. To the support of the school for which there were 30 of the poor children to be taught free, the others pay from 2s 2d to 10 s 10d per There are on average 103 scholars, 76 of which are males.’

The second school at Kilberry was held in ‘a poor cabin’ and was attended by twenty-six children.

There were two schools at Wilkinstown. One was held in ‘a poor cabin’ and had twenty-six pupils; the other was held in ‘a wretched cabin’ and had fourteen pupils.
1826: A school in Oristown chapel was attended by fourteen children.
1832: A day school opened in Oristown.
1834: A hedge school opened in Wilkinstown.
1835: A school at Teltown.
1837: Two Roman Catholic schools. One at Oristown partly free, aided by subscriptions.
One at Bloomsbury. 160 children. 
1841: New schools built at Oristown and Wilkinstown.
1856: School erected by Rev Matthew Kelsh. Closed in July 1971.
1857:  Wilkinstown N.S. Built by Fr Matthew Kelsh. Closed July 1971.
1887:  New trustees of Oristown N.S.
When Rev Joseph Coyne P.P. came to the parish in 1887, he asked to be included as a trustee of Oristown N.S.. The Department of Education replied that all the other trustees were dead and asked him to nominate two more.

The new trustees were:
Thomas Barnwell Esq. J.P. Bloomsbury House.
Richard Allen Esq. Fyanstown
Rev Joseph Coyne P.P.

Later in 1889, had a High Altar erected at his own expense in Oristown Church.

Further education in Oristown 1920s.

Dairy classes


During the 1920s, dairy classes in churning and butter-making were held in the RIC Barracks opposite Seb Rooney's during the summer months.
Miss Hanrahan, a Poultry Instructress from Kilkenny, taught the classes.

Girls in their teens from the area availed of these lessons.
Fr Daly's niece, Annie Murphy, the Lees from Clongill and the Conways, Rath Dubh, were among those who attended.
Lil Daly remembers bringing the cream down to be churned.
Mrs Brennan, Fyanstown, used send down milk to be churned.

(Lil Daly née Conway interview with Marion Rogan for the Faith History of the parish of Oristown, 2000).


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