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A step back in time...

Ballymoney National School

The old school (current parish hall) was opened in 1839. The old school roll number was 11732. There appears to be no records available between 1939 and 1879. Some say they were destroyed in Reverend Hudson's time when the two storey old school became a one storey building. According to previous principal Edith Bennett, a lot of roll books were thrown out then (the teacher's residence was on the ground floor a hallway, coal house (tiny) kitchen, dining room, three bedrooms, sitting room and a wash room. 

Upstairs was the classroom, junior and senior infants were on one side of a raised platform and 5th and 6th class were on the other side (Ballineen side) of the platform with the teacher's desk in the centre in front of the fireplace. The remainder of the classes were in front of the teacher's desk. The infants had 'dual desks. The other desks were long and between 6 and 8 pupils sat on these. The floor was timber with spaces between some boards and pens and pencils often fell through these holes. 

There was two outdoor 'dry' toilets. When someone wanted to wash their hands, they took out a dish and got rain water from a tank near the residence wall, they washed their hands on the fence nearby.  

The first male pupil enrolled was recorded on 1st July 1878, his name was George Stanley from Barrycrowley. 

The first female pupil enrolled was recorded on 1st July 1878 her name was Martha Connor from Ballymoney.

Many teachers served in the old school...

  • Nicholas Penney got married at 24 years old and started teaching in May 1883. He started teaching in Ballymoney NS on the 1st January 1889. He died in September 1909. 

  • Mary Penney, unmarried, started teaching in Ballymoney NS in July 1893 and left in July 1901.

  • Benjamin Thorpe, unmarried, taught in Ballymoney NS October 1909 until August 1911.

  • Maria Penney, married, taught in Ballymoney NS from September 1911 until September 1923.

  • Frances Willis (Mrs Daunt) taught in Ballymoney NS from September 1923 and retired in March 1964. 

  • Hannah Desmond, taught in Ballymoney NS from July 1947 until September 1948.

  • Ella Shorten taught in Ballymoney NS from January 1949 until March 1951 (while the marriage ban was in force)

  • Irene Cooper taught in Ballymoney NS from January 1948 until January 1949. She returned in April 1955 and left again in June 1955. 

  • Hannah O' Donoghue taught in Ballymoney NS from March 1951 until June 1952. 

Classes were moved to the new school during the Autumn term 1958. The school was also allocated a new roll number 18246i. On Tuesday 11th November 1958, The Cork Examiner read 'New School Opened in West Cork': 


'Mr J Lynch, Minister of Education, was speaking at the opening of a new £5000 National School at Ballymoney, Ballineen, Co Cork, which was opened in 1839. The new school situated just outside Ballineen, has two classrooms with accommodation for a total of 48 pupils.'

'The Department of Education made a substantial contribution, but without the local assistance to aid the initiative and the efforts of the clerical managers, the expansion of the school building programme, which was so urgently necessary, and which they were now experiencing, could not be maintained.'

'Dr Perdue said he holed that the children would be proud of their heritage and that they would adorn the grounds with plants and shrubs so that they would be worthy of the school. A thanksgiving service was held in St. Paul's Church Ballymoney prior to the official opening of the new school. Pupils formed a guard of honour.'


The site for the 'new' school was bought from Mr. O'Regan, Main Street, Ballineen. It cost £100.

A couple of families from the Kenneigh Parish contributed towards the building.  A grant was also given by the Department of Education. The remainder of the money was collected through the collection of waste paper (roughly 4s"6d). 

An 'Apron Waist' collection from past pupils where aprons with a pocket were made and sold, each costing a penny for every inch of the waist.  

Kenneigh National School was amalgamated with Ballymoney in the beginning of the school year July 1929. 

Part of Knockaneady is called Ballymoney. This gave its name to a parish formerly and the Irish is Baile-le-Muinig the land of the Muinigh or Moneys'. The Muinighs were a family. 

The school had open fireplaces that were set and lit each morning. These fireplaces are now boarded up and children still gather around it where now an interactive whiteboard has been placed. Tehily's Bridge Street delivered the coal to the school. Some children brought kindling. Storage heaters were then installed while Rev. Haworth was the chairperson. A newer version has since been installed. 

The school telephone was installed in 1995.

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