schools which were the objects of penal legislation were the pay schools
or hedge schools. They filled the education vacuum left after the collapse
of the bardic school system during the Cromwellian period. They were widespread
during the 18th century and were to remain until the establishment of
the state system of education in 1831.
There were a few of these hedge schools in the parish of Dysert, one situated
in a thatched cow shed in the townland of Knockreagh, Dysert. It was in
use until about 1865 and in the 1830s a man by the name of Seamus McCurtin
was teaching there. He taught for a salary of £7.10.0 per annum.
There was another hedge school beside the present Dysert Church, at the
right hand side of it. This was in use until about 1891 when the national
school in Dysert was built.
Above is a transcription from Dysert O’Dea A History Trail
published by Dysert Development Association, research by Richard Ua