Scoil na Mainistreach derives its name from the Franciscan Abbey
founded in 1350, by the McNamara clan, for the Friars Minor of St. Francis.
The Abbey is unique because it was built on the site of a Norman Castle built
by Thomas de Clare in 1280 and destroyed in 1285 by the McNamara clan.
In 1641 Fr. Eugene OCahan (Keane) opened a College at Quin Abbey. The school in a short period had 800 students, amongst them Anthony Bruodin from whom we learn much about this school. It is stated that the school "possessed half as many more students as Trinity College Dublin had a century later". The school was broken up by the Commonwealth soldiers in 1651.
The year 1856 is the next record of a school in Quin. The school known locally as a "Reading House" was situated where Pat Hasset (Malachy) has his stables presently. The home of Mrs. Muriel ONeill was at this time the residence of the teacher. The last teacher to live there was Mrs. Lena Weldon Helena Degidon of Rylane. On the 23rd of June 1920 Lena married John Weldon in Clooney Church. John Weldon was better known as "Brinsley McNamara" a prolific writer, though best known for his book "The Valley of the Squinting Windows".
The first recorded enrolment in the "Male School" in the year 1863 was Michael Clune Carhugar farmer, aged 15. In 1871 there is a record of the first infant - aged 6 William Considine, whose father is registered as a teacher presumably the "Master".
Situated in Feighquin alongside the "Reading House" is the "Old School", built in 1896. The building is now derelict and only lasted sixty years as a school.
THE RECORDS SHOW THE FOLLOWING TEACHERS HAVING TAUGHT IN QUIN SCHOOLS.
Master Considine, boys school, 1863-1875 Principal.
Master Flood, 1875 Principal.
Master Brew, 1877 Principal.
Master Séamus O Gríofa, 1901 Principal.
James Donnellan, 1901 Assistant.
Sara A. Russell appointed Principal in Girls School in 1907. Sara later left her teaching post in Quin to join the Sisters of Mercy in Ennis, subsequently known in religion as Sister Kevin.
Jane Murphy. Assistant in Girls School in 1907.
These two ladies are the first recorded teachers of the Girls School.
Master Buckley Assistant boys 1913.
Lena Weldon Girls School.
Bernadette McNamara Sister of the late Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Kevin McNamara.
Stephen Clune Principal.
James Clune Principal.
Frank Gordon Principal.
Mary Baker (Mrs. Lenihan).
Tomás O Síocháin Principal.
Dermot OGorman taught in a temporary capacity for one year in Scoil na Mainstreach.
Clare County Library wishes to thank Clare Local Studies Project for preparation of text for this publication.
<< Quin NS
<< History of Education in Clare