1940- Margaret Casey, Mary Naughton, Eva Kenrick, Elsie O’ Neill, Kathleen Crowley

Margaret Ryan, née Casey,  Main Street, Askeaton.

1940 Margaret Casey, Main Street, Askeaton. Born 14-10-1924. Aunt of Ger and Maureen Casey, pub, Main Street. She owned and ran the Thatch pub, Newbridge.
Interview in March 2018 at the active retirement group at the hall

There were 19 girls n the class
Margaret Casey -Ryan
Mary Naughton- Mann
Betty Ryan (Sister of Paddy Barber)
Dilly Hogan (father was Jack Hogan,(sacristan)
Bridget Shaughnessy -Kelly
Her sister who married Madden??
Maureen Stokes (Eileen Kearney’s sister)
Eva Kenrick – Neville
Kathleen Crowley -Sheehy East Square
Maggie Holland (Foley)
Breda Culhane (sister of John)
Mary Gallagher -Mother of Anthony Moran)
Mary Mc Donnell
Mary Fitzgerald -painters daughter

Margaret, aged 16, attended for one year to do a commercial course-Greg’s shorthand and typing, English, Irish, Geography, History, French and maths. The girls were 14-15 years old. There were two teachers Polly O Mahony and Bess O Shaughnessy. One large room in the library with one fire at one end.The teachers wore black gowns.
The 2 typewriters were set up one inside each window, giving the girls a birds eye view of Pat Sheehy in his butchers stall across the way and of course the farmers on their way to and from the creamery!!.
Nearby you had Imelda Hanley’s shop, Chris Brandon (leather goods), 2 Old ladies at the corner had reels of thread etc, Mickey Magner-handy man, Mill-run by Betty Ryan’s father
National bank with Mc Donnell’s pub entrance off the bridge.
Mgt’s father, Tom, fed the village from his kitchen garden. Her uncle BMai Guerin’s father lived across the street. He was a harness maker1

Mary Mann nee Naughton, Ballysteen

Mary remembers,  Maggie Foley (Holland), Breda Culhane, Mary Gallagher (aunt of Anthony Moran), Mary Mc Donnell/Donald, Mary Fitzgerald (painters daughter)

She supplied this great picture of some of the girls on a day out to Foynes.


Eva Neville (Kenrick) Ballysteen

Eva went to N.S in Ballysteen with her sister Kitty. The principal was Mrs Kathleen O’ Sullivan and Mrs Maureen O’ Riordan (wife of Dermot of Southern Chemicals, from Donegal).

They then moved to Borrigone N. S, known as the ’university of the west’.  Here they were taught by Mr King, M.A from Glin  and prepared for jobs in the civil service etc. He was replaced by Mr Coleman from Tipperary.  Ms O’ Connell taught the juniors up to 3rd class.

Eva and her sister were quite happy that they were finished their schooling. However when Mrs O Mahony paid a visit during the summer, their mother decided to send them to St Mary’s. Seven pupils came up from Ballysteen that year. They were, Sean and Breda Culhane, Mary Naughton (Mann), 2 Gallagher’s, Eva and Kitty. Eva recalled that Ms Jones, founder of St Mary’s, would send them out for a walk every morning down the quay before they’d start lessons. On one particular day, instead of returning to the school they went off on a tour down towards Ballysteen!!!. Ms Jones had been expecting an inspector that day, who thankfully didn’t arrive!!


Kathleen Sheehy nee Crowley born 19-11-1925

Kathleen was the only one of her family to attend secondary school in Askeaton. . The cost was £9per year which was a lot of money in those days. Secondary school was considered to be a ‘privilege of the rich’, she said with some wealthy children being sent off to boarding school.

She remembers the library much as the other girls did. 19-20 students, one room. Ms O Shaughnessy teaching shorthand and typing, maths and book-keepin, with Ms Jones teaching the other subjects. Kathleen never made a great hand of the typing, .😩. In her second year Ms Nora Sheehan joined the staff. Kathleen’s best  pals were Margaret Casey, Breda Culhane and Kitty Kenrick.  She remembers going with some of the girls down to Betty Ryan’s father In the mill to be weighed on the big scales!.

She confirmed Eva Kenrick’s story about the day they ‘mitched from school’. They were sent for a walk as a whist drive had been held in the library the night before and the desks had not been replaced!. Instead of turning around at the cross, on the urging of Maria Foley, they headed to visit the Fortune Teller on the Ballysteen road. At the last minute they decided it would not be fair to all descend at one go, so they came back cross country to school. Naturally Ms Jones was decidedly unimpressed!!. They had two ‘outings’ per year. One to Ringmoylan pier for a picnic. The other was slightly further afield. They went to the ‘Cooley nook’ tea shop in Foynes for afternoon tea and cakes. Kathleen remembers falling off her bicycle en route and cutting her leg. This did not dissuade them and she was promptly carried on the carrier of the other girls in turn. The teachers were also on bicycles and insisted on carrying her on the route home. Ms Shaughnessy took her on the first leg of the journey and she remembers getting an informative lesson on the meaning of the town land of Borrigone! en route. Kathleen remembers Ms Shaughnessy saying a prayer for peace every day during the war.

Following her 2 years,  Kathleen and Una cycled to Rathkeale to sit their exams. Kathleen went on to get a job in Anna Fitzgibbons post office in East square



Class members from 1942

Eileen Carney
Lily Casey
Vinny Hewson
Ml T Ryan
Ita Hough -Kennedy
Una Mc Mahon


Elsie Costello nee O Neill, Bansha.

Elsie was born and reared in Bansha in Kilcornan. She attended Kilcornan NS in 1948 before making her way to St Mary’s. Her son Michael kindly shared these school reports with us.

Elsie’s certificate from 1950 (supplied by son Michael)