Scoil Mhuire De Lourdes is a primary school located in Lixnaw, Co. Kerry. Currently classes from 1st to 6th class attend this school. However in September 2021, the school will become a full vertical co-educational school and will see the enrolment of both girls and boys, Junior Infants to Sixth Class. We currently have a staff of 3 classroom teachers, a resource teacher, a shared learning support teacher and a SNA.
The school was recently renovated to a high standard and we now have 3 classrooms, a resource room, a learning support room and a staff room. Our school yard has been tarmacadamed and we have grassy areas for the good weather.
Scoil Mhuire De Lourdes prepares pupils to a high academic standard. A spirit of friendship, fairness and respect is fostered among pupils and staff.
We have been providing education in Lixnaw for 145 years and we look forward to serving the community for many years to come.
History of Scoil Mhuire De Lourdes
In 1875, Lixnaw National School was built. There followed a building boom of National Schools in the parish - Rathea N.S. in 1875, Clandouglas N.S. in 1876, Dromclough N.S. in 1877.
In 1877 also, the Presentation Sisters came to Lixnaw at the invitation of the Bishop of Kerry, Dr. David Moriarty. The bishop, being a native of Lixnaw, was anxious to promote convent education in his own parish.
The original Lixnaw National School was built two sites up from Foley's Shop, which is now a private residence.
Rural National Schools in those times were of a generic nature consisting of a stone building with two large rooms with a lean-to either front or rear, intended as a fuel or turf shed. The rooms had high ceilings, timber floors and a few small windows in the gable. The rooms were dark and dreary places. There was also a large grated fire which produced an inadequate source of heat for the school. Toilet facilities were also poor consisting of a channel and an outside dry toilet. The yard itself was covered with loose gravel and coal cinders. Most pupils that time wore short pants and if one fell, one spent some time picking the grit from the wound.
Records from the school are poor if almost non-existent.
The first principal was Master Morgan O' Connor and it was the custom of the time to provide a teacher's residence for the principal. That residence is still in use today as The Ceolann. The next principal was Master Brendan Dillon and he also availed of the teacher's residence. Then in 1950, Master John Joe Cantillon was appointed principal and had a long tenure until retirement in 1995.
Down through the years, the school was known by many names originally; Lixnaw National School, then The Boys' School, The Master's and finally, its current official name, Scoil Mhuire De Lourdes.
In the 1960s, the state of the school building deteriorated. In the particularly cold winter of 1963, a school strike was organised by the 6th Class boys. A notice appeared on the entrance gate:
"ON STRIKE BECAUSE TOO COLD"
They had a little picket outside the school. Master Cantillon duly arrived in his black Morris Minor 2X9865. He had a curt message as Gaeilge - "Isteach libh agus abhaile leat a Mhic Ó ...". He sent the ringleader home. His mother arrived shortly afterwards and talks began. Within a short time, that pupil was re-instated. The school actually made national headlines that year as the school strike got a short mention in the now defunct Sunday Press newspaper.
In the 1960s, it was Government policy to amalgamate small rural schools. Ballinclogher N.S. (incidentally built in 1885) was amalgamated with Lixnaw Boys N.S. in 1970. Master Butt Galvin and Mrs Dora Joy joined Master John Cantillon and Mrs Maisie Barrett on the stage of Lixnaw Boys N.S. In 1966, a brand new school was provided by the Department of Education. It was like 5 star accommodation. Two large, bright classrooms, central heating, flushing toilets and a concrete yard with covered shed for wet weather.
Tá grá mór i gcónaí i leith na Gaeilge agus gach rud Gaelach sa scoil seo freisin. Tá suim in ár gcultúr, ár gcluichí agus ár dteanga dhúchais - An Gaeilge.
Is scoil Caitliceach í freisin agus ullmhaítear na da;taí do na príomh shacraimintí; Céad Faoistin, Céad Comaoine agus Comhneartú. Múintear ár gCreideamh cuirtear béim ar an gaol atá ann againn le Dia, linn féin agus le daoine eile agus conas a thugaimíd aire don timpeallacht.
In 1995, John McAuliffe was appointed principal. John actually had a link with all three schools. He attended the old Boys' School in 1966 and oversaw with the Board of Management the new extension in 2011. He was also taught by Master Cantillon, taught with him on the school staff for 15 years and replaced him on his retirement in 1995.
The school has always enjoyed the support and good will of the local community. The school tries to implement the motto of the Community Games -"Mens sano in corpore sano" - meaning health in mind, health in body. The school has had many successes in quizzes, both GAA and Credit Union. We won the Clanmaurice Credit Union Quiz on numerous occasions at Under 11 and 13. We won the Chapter Final on two occasions and represented the Chapter in the All - Ireland final in 1996, ending up 10th in Ireland. The promotion of our national games is always a priority at the school. The school has enjoyed fantastic success in all competitions - hurling, football and skills competitions. In the process, it has provided many players for the local hurling and football clubs, both of which have had many successes over recent decades and provided numerous players at all levels to county teams.
In 2017, John McAuliffe retired and was replaced by another Lixnaw native, Clíona Fitzmaurice. Clíona comes from a great line of teachers and we wish her a long, happy and successful term and that under her stewardship, the school will flourish.
John McAuliffe, Former Principal 1995 - 2017