A past pupil visits our school

Pupils with Nelly Kelly Oct 08

Pupils with Nelly Kelly Oct 08

Newmarket N.S. 1926

Newmarket N.S. 1926

Castlemorres Co. Kilkenny

Castlemorres Co. Kilkenny

Nelly Kelly (nee Hearne) visited our school on the 24th of October. Nelly is 91 years old and is a former student of our school and of the old school in Newmarket. Our school was built in 1925 and all the students from the old school moved to the new school. She clearly remembers moving from the old school into the new school and how excited they all were.  Nelly told us all about her school days in Newmarket in the 1920’s.  There were 120 pupils in the school. The school only consisted of one classroom, which we’re in now,  but the partition divided it in two. Mr and Mrs O’Sullivan were the teachers. At lunch time they were allowed go to the shop in the village, and if you forgot your lunch you could get a slice of bread buttered for a penny. Water had to be carried from the well down the road because there was no tap. If the children were being bold they’d get smacked with the cane. When the inspector came the cane would be hidden. The boys used to play hurling in the field across the road called the Faiche. Once a boy got a belt in the eye and had to be brought to the hospital. That finished hurling for a while. There was a 7th and 8th class because there was no secondary school. The school was very cold in the winter because there was no heating. The original slates are still on the school to this day. The toilets were outside the school. Nelly’s dad Jack Hearne worked on the Castlemorres estate and Nelly helped him sometimes.  She said that she had been in every room of Castlemorres house. The house was knocked in 1979.  Some children came to school on a donkey cart. In the summer Nelly used to walk home in her bare feet. Nelly said that school days were the best days of her life. She loved school and she loved Irish. We all enjoyed listening to Nelly telling us about her school days in the 1920’s. Nelly has a remarkable memory of her school days. She was able to name all the people in the picture of the pupils in the school. She also told us that we are in Paradise now compared to school in her days.

Conor Aylward

6th class



Filed under Local News

3 responses to “A past pupil visits our school

  1. Grace Aylward

    did u hear nelly kelly has died

  2. this school is the best place to be so come here

  3. Tom Duggan

    Yes it is with great regret that we heard the news that Nelly Kelly has died on Saturday last. We recall with great fondness her visit to our school last year.She was a most interesting person who had a fantastic knowledge of the history of our area. Ar dheis Dé go raibh sí.
    Tom Duggan

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