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Stop 3: Portlaw national school

For more than 150 years, the boys and girls of Portlaw went to separate schools. In 1991, the Sisters of Mercy, who educated the girls of Portlaw for more than a century, vacated their school in the village. The result of this was the amalgamation of the Boys National School and the Convent School. Two new classrooms were built and the old boys’ school was renovated.

In December 1996, the last pupils left the old convent building. Four new classrooms, a remedial room, an office, a staff room and a new yard were added to the new building to accommodate the girls. Junior Minister Brian O’Shea officially opened the school on June 13th, 1997.


The original boys school was built in 1932. Originally there were two rooms, with toilets and a third room was added during the 1960s. The toilets were outside. Our principal, Mr. Curran says the walls of the school were used by the boys to play handball. Ms. McCarthy remembers she had to teach in the Muintir na Tíre hall down in the village because there wasn’t enough room in the boys school to accommodate the four teachers. Teachers took turns doing this.


Four new classrooms, a remedial room, a staffroom, and an office were built onto the school in this era. We now have eight classrooms and we are all in the one building. Plans for a further building project, which will include new classrooms and a General Purpose room, are at an advanced stage with the Department of Education. A special unit for children with hearing impairments will open in September in the school so we will have temporary accommodation for this unit.

    Aerial photograph of the school site taken in 1994

We are very proud to be one of the first schools in Ireland to receive the Green Flag. Through this Green Schools’ project we are passing on the message to the next generation about the importance of recycling. Only last weekend, the local radio congratulated Portlaw because it was the best town in the county for                            recycling rubbish correctly.

We raise our Green Flag daily and work hard to maintain it

              Go to Step 4


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