The  Cashel School Centenary has been talked about for some time now. Early comments from Fr Tom Grufferty formerly of Curryane – now in Havent, Hampshire, England firmly planted the thoughts in our hearts and minds.

A meeting was held in 2008 to elect a Centenary committee, a date was set and there was no going back. The school closed in 1971 and since then many past pupils look at the school with fond memories and mixed feelings.

Most of the pupils immigrated at some point or another and thankfully were given an education to face the wide world during their time at the school. In the words of Mr. William Swords, Headmaster; “If you can read, write and count your money all need is the health to get by”. That formed the basis for the education, knowing that leaving home was inevitable for the majority of pupils.

There was a great sense of community in the villages served by Cashel National School where people helped each other in times of need – whether by visiting the sick or elderly or by working in the Meitheal to gather the crops and threshing the corn. Everybody knew everybody else in the village and in the neighboring villages and always looked after one another.

Sincere thanks to the Centenary Committee who worked so hard to make this event happen against the backdrop of a closed school. To O’Hara’s Swinford, for giving us the use of the school over the two days, our sponsors the GMB Union, our advertisers, the Garda Siochana, the Civil defence, the Midfield Choir, Midfield Pipe Band, Fr Tom Grufferty and everybody throughout the world who sent pictures and materials for the website – and last but not least, to our web manager Ken.

Paul Maloney


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