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The "Master's House" on the Dublin Rd. was, up to a few years prior to that school's relocation in 1982, attached to the Boy's School. The school was built in 1839 with the establishment of National Education. The Ordinance Survey of 1837 shows a school on the same site two years earlier, and a Master's house adjoining the gable. The older Parish School appears to have been on the very side of the road. This is most likely the school mentioned in the report of the Commissioners of Irish Education Inquiry of 1826, which was taught by Stephen Hickey at the annual salary of about £10, contributed by the children. There was in addition, a house and garden in lieu of which the Master educated twenty two children gratis. The school itself was a thatched house built by the parishioners at a cost of £35. In attendance were 45 boys and 15 girls. In their 1835 second report the teacher named was J. Deegan, who was educating 52 boys and 24 girls. Up to about 1975 numbers remained at 75 pupils.
The present house was built by Fr. Turner P.P., for Dan Farrell, who was the Principal teacher at the time. Fr. Turner built the Parish Church, beginning in 1875 and finishing in 1884. He built an identical house for the teacher's use in Staplestown, then part of Clane Parish. Mr. Farrell, who was very highly regarded, lived in Naas and came to Clane daily on his bicycle for many years. This had its disadvantages, as when the Liffey was in flood he had to be met by horse and cart on the other side of the bridge. He had a thriving tobacconist business in Poplar Square and this probably explains why he and his family never occupied the house in Clane. His wife also, who was an invalid, was reluctant to move. The old thatched house referred to earlier lasted until well into the nineteenth century. An unusual episode in the history of the teacher's house was its period of use as a Garda barracks on the establishment of the State, and its subsequent burning in 1922 by 'Republican Forces'. The old R.I.C. barracks at Marron's had suffered the the same fate after it had been abandoned in 1920. In our issue of November 1978, the the burning of the Garda barracks was referred to during an interview with the late Billy Noble.
In June 1922, local IRA units all over the south were marched to provincial centres such as Naas to pick a standing regular army. While the men hung around the Courthouse and outside the barracks, Brigadier Owen Lawlor and their other officers went into the Officer's Mess. Only 58 were picked, including Billy. Many prominent officers, with ambitions to make a career in the new National Army, were turned down. Of the Clane contingent, those who remained were marched back to Clane under Tom Harris, later a T.D. for Kildare, and they burned down the Garda barracks.
Reproduced from "Le Chéile" by kind permission