Flag day

The annual Cornanool N.S. Flag day will take place this Saturday 22nd September 2018, beginning at 9am.
Volunteers are asked to add their names to the list on the parents’ board in the school.
We thank you for your continued support.
le meas,
Dermot Walsh

Welcome 2018/19

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is with both a large sense of excitement and a small sense of nervousness that I welcome you to the 2018 – 2019 school year. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Ms. Ann O’Hara all of the happiness she deserves in her retirement and to thank her for her ongoing support and guidance as the school transitions from one stage of its journey to the next.

Preparing students for citizenship in the 21st century presents many challenges to educators. It is no longer sufficient for students to master the three R’s of traditional education. In order to succeed in the 21st century students will require the ability to think critically about real world problems, be creative in their problem solving, communicate with team mates and collaborate with co-workers face to face, online, locally and internationally. All while mastering technology and using it appropriately. While primary school is only one part of the wider education system it is important that we can react to the needs of modern society and equip our students with the toolkit necessary to thrive in the future. I am looking forward to working closely with students, teachers, parents & guardians and outside agents over the coming years to develop our school community’s identity in the 21st century and we should be excited about the many challenges which will present themselves on the road ahead.

On a personal note, I am very excited about joining the school community and intend on upholding the traditions, values and reputation which the school has built up over its one hundred years plus of existence. Secondly, I look forward to meeting and working with you all over the coming weeks, months and years.

School starts back on Monday 3rd of September. Mrs. Cawley, Ms. Campbell and I are looking forward to engaging in team teaching, collaboration and multi-class learning opportunities over the coming year while officially responsible for learning support, the Junior room and the Senior room, respectively. You will also find the calendar, booklists and updates about recent and upcoming events on our school website, www.cornanoolns.ie which is undergoing some changes. The official school email has changed to eolas@cornanoolns.ie. While emails sent to infocornanool@gmail.com will still reach their intended target the address will be phased out over time.

Looking forward to meeting you all in September,

Best regards,

Mr. Dermot Walsh



Congratulations and best wishes to all our pupils, past pupils, parents and teachers of St. Patrick’s National School, Cornanool, in this, our centenary year. One hundred years in any way of life is a long time, but when one hundred years in education is being celebrated, it has to be somespecial. The lives of so many people, in fact so many generations, have been touched.

This year we are privileged to celebrate the centenary of St. Patrick’s N.S., Cornanool (1896-1996). If the four walls of the school could only talk, what stories we would now listen to. Children barefoot, noisy but happy. In winter, huddled around the turf fire for warmth—fire from the sods of turf they carried daily to the school. In difficult and trying times, children received an education from teachers who were committed to their task.

Years always bring change, even to our own lives, and one hundred years have brought many changes to Cornanool N.S.

From rather austere beginnings, progress has all been welcomed—the introduction of electricity, running water and other amenities. From the old manager system to the introduction of the new Boards of Management who, under difficult financial conditions did their best to maintain the school. From the introduction of the new curriculum, the abolition of corporal punishment and the setting up of Parents’ Associations. For any area to thrive, a willingness to change is essential and the people of Cornanool will not be found wanting in this respect.

As the old saying goes, “there is nothing permanent except change,” and the changes in the last one hundred years will pale into insignificance to what the next one hundred years will bring. The mind boggles in thinking what education will be like in the year 2096. With the sharp decline in the birthrate, it seems inevitable that in the futhere will be far fewer national schools in the country. Will there be a dozen or so ultra-large primary schools, with fifty or more teachers, dotted around the county serving a multitude of parishes. Gone will be the day of the school bus (Eugene take note!). Will pupils instead be ferried to their central school by helicopter “busses”?

Will these huge schools have every educational and sporting amenity, from high tech computer rooms, state of the art gymnasiums, Michelle ‘^Smith’s 50 metres pools (!) and fully-equipped medical rooms? School lunches will be a thing of the past as each school will have its own self-servcanteen.

Schoolbags and books will be obsolete; instead each pupil will probably have a lap-top computer into which the year’s course will be entered. Homewill be handed out on a disc to be inserted in your home computer.

School tours—like visits to Galway, Dublin and other places—will seem very tame affairs to future generations. Pupils in the year 2096 may go on day tours to far-off exotic places like Hawaii, Thailand, the Amazon and the Moon—all thanks to high tech travel

Yes, you might well say to yourself, this is all “pie in the sky,” but it would be well to remember what times were like in 1896. We had no central heated houses, no phones, televisions, compact discs, radios or video recorders. Travel was by means of foot or horse and cart. The car was just being invented. Buses, underground trains, jet travel, the Concorde and space exploration were just a fantasy.

I have no doubt that times will be very different in a hundred years from now. Let’s hope the small two-teacher school, as we know it today, will not be just a fading memory. As a precaution it is very important for us now to record faithfully for the future what an important part the small school has in the fabric of our society.

Finally, I would like to thank all who helped in any way with the production of this book. I would especially like to thank the organising commitwho gave so freely of their time, the people who sent in articles or photographs, the staff of the Connaught Telegraph for their advice and help, and last, but by no means least, our advertisers and sponsors, without whom this production would not be possible.

I hope that this centenary booklet will have its own special meaning for each family, and on behalf of the organising committee may I extend a very special invitation to all the people of the parish, the young and old, to our cententary celebrations on the weekend of 23rd – 25th August.

Is mise, Ie mor mheas,
MARTIN LOFTUS (Priomh Oide).


Cornanool N.S. was built in 1896 on a site of one acre and sixteen perch. It was officially opened in 1898. The reason for this delay was the The Board of Works refused to pay the balance op the grant to the school manager, Fr. William Coen, as they were unhappy with the contractors work. It cost £386/19. This was covered by a grant of £257/19/8 from the Board of Works and the rest was fundraised locally. Enrolment at that time was 121 children but the average daily attendence was 72.
The school consisted of two rooms, one large and one small, a hallway, a cloak porch and a turf box. It was a mixed school but the playground was divided into girls and boys by a five-foot wall. Heating was by open turf fires and children were expected to bring a few sods of turf to school each day.
There was a wonderful celebration in 1996 for our centenary year with past pupils travelling from all over the world to reminisce about their days in Cornanool N.S. We produced a Centenary Book which is a great resource for local history. You can view different articles and images from this book by clicking here. However, it was in 2005 that the biggest improvements were made with the purchase of the field to the front of the school and the addition of two new classrooms to replace the smaller rooms in the older part of the school. This has given the school a wonderful modern feel and provided additional playing areas for the pupils.
Thanks to the dedication, hard work and commitment of many generations of parents, staff and Board of Managements, we have a school in the heart of the community, in which we are rightly proud. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was a past pupil in Cornanool N.S.

In it’s 115 year history the school has had just five principals:

Bernard Egan Snr. 1896-1933
Bernard Egan Jnr. 1933-1937
John Egan 1937-1975
Martin Loftus 1975-2009
Ann O’Hara 2009-to date

Calendar 2018/19

Below is a our school calendar which we will update to keep you informed of upcoming events for your diary.

To follow the calendar click the small + sign in the bottom right hand corner of the calendar.

School year 2018 – 2019

Term 1

• Monday 03/09/2018 – School reopens for term one.
• Monday 29th October – Friday 2nd November 2018 School closed for October mid-term break
• Monday 5th November 2018 School reopens
• Friday 21st December 2018 School closes for Christmas holidays.


Term 2

• Monday 7th January 2019 School reopens for term two.
• Thursday 21st February 2019 & Friday 22nd February 2019 school closed for February mid-term break
• Monday 25th February 2019 School reopens
• Monday 18th March School closed St. Patrick’s day observed.
• Tuesday 19th March School reopens.
• Friday 12th April 2019 School closes for Easter holidays.


Term 3

• Monday 29th April 2019 School reopens for term three.
• Monday 6th May School closed for May bank holiday.
• Friday 31st May 2019 School closed.
• Monday 3rd June 2019 School closed for June bank holiday.
• Wednesday 26th June 2019 School Closes for Summer holidays.


Click on the following link for a printable Calendar: Calendar 2018-2019 pdf

About us

Welcome to St Patricks N.S. Cornanool, Islandeady, Castlebar. Our school is a small Catholic co educational school, with two mainstream classes and one learning support teacher. We are situated in the outskirts of Castlebar, approximately a five minute drive from the town. We provide our pupils with a caring, safe and happy place in which they can reach their full potential.


There are many facilities available in the school. The original school building now hosts the learning support room, store room and staff room/office. The staff room/office was re-vamped recently and is looking very well with a new kitchen added.


At the front of the school there is a fully enclosed pitch. The pitch is in great condition. The children really enjoy playing on the pitch and love to practise their football skills. There is also a basketball area to the left of the building, fitted with basketball hoops on either end.