First National School
Once again, it was Father Richard Seymour
who oversaw fundraising activities contributing the first £100 to commence local subscriptions.
Opening in 1856, St Mary's was the village's first National School, erected on land donated by William Coppinger where
dotted line highlights the school lying within Barryscourt boundary. It initally only was able to accept the girls of the
village on the ground floor as funds had runout to complete the upper floor for the boys.
The school was the subject of an excellent Southern Reporter article of 25th June that year. This school replaced the village hedge school last used the previous Christmas according to this article, measuring
“twenty feet by sixteen” to accommodate 240 children.
It is unclear where this hedge school may have been, and to add to the confusion the following OSI map which predates the
opening of new National School, the arrival of railway of 1865, and naturally the Sisters, shows two further schools on
Main Street. The first ‘Nat. School’ fairly close to entrance of the convent, the other ‘Parochial School’ behind buildings
facing today’s barracks, which could conceivably be the “twenty feet by sixteen” mention above.