News from Inver National School

News and currents adventures from Inver National School, Inver, Co. Mayo

Art – Clay – Junior Room


This past fortnight we have been exploring the use of clay. After discussing how it feels and the many things we can do with it such as pinching, pulling, throwing, twisting….we moulded our little pinch pots. We discussed and predicted what might happen to the clay pots when left on the radiator over night. Some little scientists predicted that the clay material would change colour and become solid. Some of the children made connections with our Maths topic ‘weight’ and predicted that the pinch pots would be lighter when dry.  How very clever! Each child decorated their own pinch pot as they wished and we discovered in the end that the pinch pots were just like us. Unique and special!

Ar ais ar scoil ~ Back at school 2010


Tá na laethanta saoire thart agus tá gach duine ar ais ar scoil. Bhi an-samhradh ag gach duine mar bhi féile mór againn don 125ú breithlá den scoil. Bhi comórtas váls do na daoine fásta oiche amháin agus oiche spraoi do na páisti oiche eile. Bhi lá oidhreachta againn agus Aifreann chomh maith. Chuaigh na daoine fásta chuig dinnéar mór san óstán agus bhi an-spraoi againn ar an la spoirt thios in aice an chladaigh.

Bhi obair mor ar siuil sa scoil freisin. Bhi dion nua curtha ar an scoil i rith an tsamhraidh…chomh maith le urlár nua agus sreangú leichteach nua.

Tá muid chun blog nua a thosnú anseo ionas go mbeidh sé easca do dhaoine i 125 bliain eile feiceáil an sort saol agus scoil atá againne anois. Ni bheidh le deanamh ag daoine i 2135 ach cliceáil ar blog seo chun gach rud a fheiceáil!

We have had an exciting summer! We had our amazing 125 celebrations to mark the fact that our school is 125 years old this year and now we are back at school again. Everyone enjoyed the social in the community centre and the waltzing competition. The children enjoyed their party night with games and competitions and disco. The<em>Memory Lane Day</em> brought all kinds of great memorabilia out of the woodwork, with interesting talks by Tommy Deane and Professor Seamus Caulfield. Everyone went for refreshemtns and entertainment to the Lighthouse Tavern afterwards. After the 125 Mass, everyone had a scintillating night out at the 125 Gala Dinner Dance in the Braodhaven Bay Hotel in Belmullet. We all loved the Sports Day on Inver Banks in Val Conway’s field. There was a pony show and curragh races on as well.
During the break, we got a new roof on the school…as well as a new floor and new wiring! Our 125 year old school is nearly new again now!

We know now that sometimes it is difficult to find information about life and times in the past. So we have set up this blog for people who might want to find out more about life and times in Inver in 2010, in 125 years time!

posted under Inver National School Blog, Inver NS was 125 years old in 2010 | Comments Off on Ar ais ar scoil ~ Back at school 2010

School in the past


125 years ago


On Wednesday the 17th of February, exactly 125 years since our school John Caulfield was the first principal of our schoolopened,  a man called Peadar Caulfield came to our school to talk about times gone by and school in the past. He said that he was a relative to the first principal of Inver school, John Caulfield. John would have been Peadar’s great uncle. Here is a photograph of John Caulfield with his sister:



Peadar said that in his day, they would have to bring two sods of turf to school or else they would get a slap on the hand with a cane. Some of the turf from a few days back was left in a shed, so if the children could not find turf on their way home the next day they would come in early to rob some turf from the shed so they would not get slapped.

John Caulfields mother and grandchild (look at the chair)

He also showed us a picture of John Caulfield’s mother (Peadar’s great grand aunt) and her grandson sitting on her chair. John Caulfield’s mother also survived through the Famine (1847-1849),so that would mean John’s mother survived for two years with very little or no food. This all happened a long time ago but Peadar still has her chair. There is a house down Peadar’s road where John Caulfield was born.

John Caulfield's house which is now known as The Lighthouse Tavern

John Caulfield's house which is now known as The Lighthouse Tavern

The pub now known as ‘Dooceys’ was once a house that John Caulfield built in the early 1990’s. He also lived there lived there with his wife and family.

In the 1950’s the house was made bigger and the extension was made into a pub.







Peadar said to Hayleigh that Brian Rua, an old prophet who came from her village could be her relation.

Hopefully Peadar will come back with the chair talk some more.

By Joe

Shannon and Kaydean's interview


Willie MeenaghanKaydean and Shannon’s interview Listen to the podcast here.

Click above to hear Kaydean and Shannons interview

On the 16th of January 2010, my friend Kaydean and I (Shannon) interviewed my uncle-in-law Willie Meenaghan on times gone by at school. We found out that Willie went to school in Barnatra. Willie started school when he was 5 and finished when he was 13 and a half. Willie walked to school and sometimes on a very bad day his teacher would pick him up in his car. His school was about half a mile from his home. He explained to us that he wore Wellingtons to school in winter time and light shoes in summer time but if it was a really good day they would walk in there bare feet. He told us that there were about 120 children in his school at the time. He said his happiest memory of school was when he got the holidays. He learned most of the subjects that are being learned now like English, Irish, Maths, Religion and History. Maths was his favourite subject because he never had any problem with them. He went to school from 9:30 to 3:00. Willie explained that they got coco and bread for lunch and that it was supplied during winter but you had to bring your own during summer. They played football in the field during break. Willie said he was good friends with everyone but from his own village his best friend was Paddy Carey. If the children misbehaved the teacher would get a long cane and hit you 2 or 3 times as hard as they could draw it. Willie told us if an inspector came and they were good they would get a sweet cake or something small. His worst memory of school was when his father died. There were no school tours or football matches when he went to school but his principal brought them on outings. He said if he had the time again he properly wouldn’t go back to school. He thinks things have improved a lot since he was going to school because there are more chances and free-education came out the year he was leaving school.
Kaydean and I enjoyed interviewing him a lot because it was interesting and we had a good laugh.
By Shannon and Kaydean

Shannon interviews her dad


Gerry SheeranOn the 16th of January 2010 I interviewed my dad Gerry Sheeran about school in the past. I found out that my dad went to Pullathomas National School. My dad thought he was very lucky because his school was only about a quarter of a mile from his home. Dad walked to school every day. He also said there was about 80 or 90 children in his school. When dad first started school he had to bring turf with him everyday but then the teachers started buying the turf. Dad learned English, Irish, Maths, Religion and History but his favourite subject was Irish. His school day was from 9:30 till 3:00 in the evening. Dad had bread and coco for his lunch and after they had there lunch they would go outside and play football. If children misbehaved the teacher would put them standing outside the door for a few minutes. Dad explained that there were no school tours when he was going to school but they would play football matches at the parish football. Dad started school when he was 5 and finished when he was 12. He explained that you wouldn’t be sent home unless you were really sick and if you were you would have to walk home. They got holidays from school at Christmas, Easter and summer, during the holidays they went to the bog and done work around the house.
   I really enjoyed interviewing my dad because I found out a lot of things I didn’t know.

Click here to hear an MP3 of my interveiw An interview with Gerry Sheeran   By Shannon

Alanna talks to her gran about her memories of school




Alanna's gran talks about her memories of school

Alanna's gran talks about her memories of school


                                          Nanny’s story


I was six years when I went to school and my dad brought me on the crossbar of his bike.

I had three and a half miles to go and after a few mouths I walked with my friends.

I started school in 1951, I went to Glenamoy National School.

There were only two teachers there.

We had five subjects: we had Irish, English, Maths, History, and Religion.

Before we left school we had an exam called the primary.

We had no heating only turf fire at the end of the room.

Sometimes we had to bring a sod of turf and later my dad brought a cart of turf and every parent did.

In the yard we played football, catch, hid and seek and ring a ring a rosy.

For lunch the older ones made cocoa and buttered bread and gave it out to all the students.

We had mugs at school and had to wash them after.

Yes the cane was used on both hands for many children. It was very cruel but I never got slapped at school.

There was no flush toilets at school only outside they were filthy.

The trovethery came and cleaned them out ever so often.

Alanna's grandad
Alanna’s grandad

What I learned from my interviews:

In January I interviewed my nanny and grandad. 

I learned how they work at school and what did they play.

My nanny said she loved school and my grandad said it was ok but he didn’t like the homework.

My nanny said she had to bring turf to school and her dad had to bring turf on his bike.

My grandad had to walk in his bare feet and they had lots and lots of homework when they got home.


Hayleigh's granny


My interview with Nanny.

What school did you go to?                                                                                                                                                                                                             Inver N.S.

How did you get to school?                                                                                                                                                                                                             Walked across the fields with a sod of turf.

What did you wear?                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

No uniform. A pair of welling tons in the winter.

What subjects did you learn?

English, Irish, History, Religion and Maths.

What was your favourite subject?


What subject did you not like?


Who was your teacher?

Mrs Caulfield.

How many teachers were in the school?

Three:  Master Brennan, Master McGarry and Miss Caulfield.

 Who was your favourite?

Miss Caulfield.

 How many were in your class?

 How many were in your school?

Around 50.

How many breaks did you have?

How long was it?Half an hour.Who was your best friend?

Bridge McAndrew.

What did you play at break?


What did you eat?

Coco and bread

Were there any discos?


What  time did  the school day start?

9 o clock.

How were the children that misbehaved punished?

Slapped with a cane.

How were they rewarded?

No rewards.

Did you bring your own lunch?


If you could would you go back to school?


What time did the school day end?

3 o clock.





On the 3rd February 2010, I interviewed my Nanny. I found out lots of interesting things about school

In the past, the children that were good weren’t rewarded like we are now and they didn’t  learn as many subjects as we learn now. Now we have cars to get to school in but my nanny didn’t and had to walk.

My nanny also told me that each child had to bring two sods of turf every day for the open fires in each classroom. They also had to help save the head masters turf. My nanny is 82 years old. I enjoyed Interviewing my nanny and I found out lots  of interesting things.

Tony interviews Sheila Maloney



Q. What school did you go to?

A. She went to Pullathomas NS

Q. Do you remember what year you started and what age you were?

A. She went to school in 1972 and her age was 4 years old



Q. Did you get any sort of transport to school?

A. She went by bus sometimes but most times the bus would break down


Q. Did you have to bring a sod of turf to school?

A. No she didn’t the school had central heating


Q. Do you remember any teachers in the school?

A. Yes she does: Mrs. Coyle, Master Coyle, Master Burke and Ms. McDonnell


Q. What did you get for lunch?

A. She got bread and cocoa for lunch


Q. How many children were in your school?

A. She cant remember but the classes were big in numbers.


Q. Did ye get much homework?

A. They did sometimes and they wouldn’t have time to finish it because of all the chores around there house


Q. What was the classroom like?

A. They didn’t have any tables or chairs instead they had desks


Q. Who was your best friend?

A. Her best friend was Bernie Mc Donnell


Q. Did you ever get in trouble at school?

A. She did sometimes


Q. Do you think kids today have a better time going to school?

A. Yes most kids even love going to school today


Q. Did you like school?

A. Mmhh kind of…..



On the 2nd of February I interviewed my mum about life at school back in those days. She went to Pullathomas National School and she didn’t have to bring a sod of turf to school because they had central heating. They had a bus but most of the time of the time it broke down so they had to walk. She started in 1972 and was age 4 years. The lunches were provided free of charge and they got was bread and cocoa. They got a lot of homework and most of the time they wouldn’t be able to finish it because of all the jobs to do around the house. She got in trouble sometimes and the teachers were very stict. I leaned a lot about the history of schools back long ago, it was very interesting.

Seamus Conway is interviewed by Padraic


My interview

Seamus Conway  Click here to hear my interview

I interviewed my Dad, Seamus Conway. He said he was 4 years old when he started school.  He had three teachers when he was in this school. His principal was Master Tom McGarry and in his last year in the school,  his son, Michael McGarry, took over from him. The punishment was the cane and ruler or beating with anything . He had  two breaks each day, one at eleven o’clock and one at half past twelve.      

By Padraic

Nathan interviews his mother, Bríd



I interviewed my mother on the 2nd of February 10. I enjoyed interviewing her. I found out a lot of stuff I didn’t know. My mother said that they never brought a sod of turf to school. At lunch they got a mug of coco and a slice of bread. They used to get a lift from the fish van. All the people were best friends. All the teachers were nice.

                                                                    By Nathan Ruddy

Joe talks to Michael Maguire


Michael MaguireMichael Maguire and Joe

Click on the link above to hear the podcast of this interview.

On the 25/01/10 I interviewed Michael Maguire, a local shopkeeper and the post master. I asked him what school was like when he went. He said that there was no electricity, not like today when you get sent home if the electricity goes off. They had to walk to the well for spring water, this was a nice job as you could take your time and miss some lessons. They would have a mug of cocoa and a slice of bread for lunch and would have to bring a sod of turf to school for the fire. The classes were a lot larger than today as the families had a lot more children. There were no toilets in the school either. He said his favourite subject was Maths and it was all done in your head he showed me how he could still add up as quick as the till. He said when they left school they would have lots of jobs to around the house like milking cows or picking potatoes. He told me a story about three men going to buy a television. They went to the shop and the man said it was £30 so they buy it. The boss comes in later and says the TV should have been £25 so the man says he will give each man £1 back and keep £2 for himself. How much did they pay? If they paid £9 each three 9 are 27 the man had £2 for himself what happen to the other £1. He also asked me what was missing from school now that they had back then common sense. I enjoyed interviewing Michael Maguire as he had lots of interesting things to say.
By Joseph M.

Kaydean and Shannon's interview with Maggie Doherty


Taped interview with Maggie Doherty

Taped interview with Maggie Doherty

This is Maggie Doherty
This is Maggie Doherty

On the 16th of January Shannon and Kaydean interviewed Maggie Doherty about when she went to school in Inver. She lives in Gorthmelia strand. She is 84 years old. She started school when she was 7 years old and left school when she was 13 and a half years old. She missed 1 year out with a leg injury. There was three teachers and three classrooms. School opened at 9 o clock in the morning and closed at 4 o clock in the day. There were no uniforms. She wore flannels. The lunch was supplied. She had to walk through fields and ditches for over a mile to get to school. She had no enemy’s. She was friendly with everyone in the school. There was no football matches disco or school trips. There were 140 to 150 children in the school. She learned math English, Irish, Religion, Dancing and History. Her favourite subject was history. By Shannon and Kaydean

Time Travellers


This blog outlines the project-work the children in Inver National School are undertaking as part of the Inver 125 celebrations.

The school was built in 1885 and we are trying to find out what the school was like then, who the people might have been and how they lived. We also want to investigate major events that happened either locally or internationally since 1885 and we hope to create a timeline to follow these events.

To help us in our project, many children (and adults too) have become Time Travellers. They have become daring reporters and have undertaken many interviews with members of the community as they try to get a snapshot of life since 1885. Follow our Time Travellers as they uncover the past and bring it to life.

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