1841: 53% of the Irish population could neither read nor write.
1880: A School Attendance Act introduced compulsory attendance for all children between the ages of five and ten. In the Irish Republic today, education is compulsory for all children between the ages of six and fifteen.
1890: Tuesday, October 7th. The school is closed for the Heath Races.
1914-1915: The longest school year on record (213 days). Nowadays the school year is much shorter. Over the last decade, we have only been in school for an average of 180 days each year.
1928: March. Our school is closed for three weeks due to an epidemic of measles.
1937: April 2nd. An article in the Irish Times complains that, "in too many instances", the position of teacher in Ireland is held by a woman! "Boys will be boys", the article continues, "and boys need the guiding hand of a man teacher". Today, only about 20% of all Irish primary school teachers are men.
1944: The school is closed for ten days for the harvest.
1963: Monday, June 3rd. Death of Pope John XXIII. The school is closed on Thursday, June 6th.
1975: Tuesday, September 2nd. School closed for funeral of President Éamon de Valera.
1982: Corporal Punishment ('slapping') is abolished in Irish primary schools.
1989: September. The first-ever computers (two BBC Micros) are bought for the school.
1990: February-June. Michael Boran is Artist-in-residence in the school. With his help, Fifth and Sixth Class take almost 2,000 photographs of the Heath area. A hundred of these were selected and exhibited in the school (on the night Ireland beat Romania in the World Cup!) and all the photographs and negatives are now part of the school archive.
1997: October 1st. The Department of Education changes its name to the Department of Education and Science.
1999: June 11th. In the elections to the European Parliament, the Irish candidates' photographs appear on the voting paper for the very first time. In the local County Council elections, there are two candidates from The Heath; Mrs Theresa Mulhare and Mrs Mary Lalor. Unfortunately, neither of them is elected.
1999: September 16th. In seven big heavy boxes (one for each teacher and one completely as Gaeilge), the new Primary School Curriculum is delivered to our school. Mr. Dunne says he hasn't time to open them yet.
1999: October. Mr. Dunne opens his box. The Sixth Class kids are delighted to be told that, according to the New Curriculum, they will not have to divide fractions by fractions anymore.
2000: February 20th. For the very first time in history, Sunday Mass in the Heath Church is broadcast live throughout Ireland. Three children from Sixth Class (Clairemarie McGrath, Mary McHugh and Ian Whelan) read some of the prayers.
2000: Easter Holidays. John Paul Nerney (Sixth Class) is the first person from our school to go up on the Millennium Wheel in London. This giant wheel (also known as the London Eye) is 135 metres high.
2001: March 5th. We put mats covered with disinfectant down outside the school gates. Everyone has to walk over them on their way in. This is to stop the spread of Foot and Mouth disease which is in England at the moment. There is also a case in Northern Ireland but so far the disease has not reached us. But, just in case, all sporting events, St Patrick's Day parades and some masses have been cancelled throughout the country. The disease was last in Ireland in 1941. There was a Foot and Mouth scare in 1967 but it didn't get into the country.
2001: March 22nd. Bad news. The first case of Foot and Mouth has been discovered on a farm in County Louth. All the animals on the farm have to be killed. There is terrible disappointment everywhere and everyone is talking about the disease and hoping that it won't spread any further. Foot and Mouth has also been discovered in France and Holland.
2001: June 19th. Good news. The country has escaped any more outbreaks of Foot and Mouth. Today, the marts were opened up again and farmers can now move cattle from place to place. We stopped putting disinfectant down outside the school. Ireland was very lucky because hundreds of thousands of animals were destroyed in Britain.
2001: Wednesday, September 5th. For the first time ever, we do our sums in euros and cents instead of pounds and pence. We are getting ready for the changover to the new currency in January 2002.
2001: Friday, September 14th. Every school in Ireland and most of the shops and businesses are closed for the National Day of Mourning for the thousands of people who died in the terrorist attack on New York last Tuesday.
2002: Tuesday, January 1st. The euro becomes our official currency.
2002: Monday, March 4th. From today, plastic bags will cost 15 cent in all shops and supermarkets. The government is trying to stop plastic bags being thrown away and destroying the environment.
2002: Sunday, April 28th. For the first time ever in history, Confirmation is held in the Heath Church. Sixteen children from Sixth Class were part of this historic occasion. This date is also historic because this it is the first time that Confirmation was not given by a bishop in our parish. The priests who gave the sacrament were Fr. John Byrne (Parish priest), Fr. Eugene Drumm and Fr. Gerry Cushen.
THE HEATH GAEILGE INTERESTING FACTS SPORTS
PLAYGROUND GAMES PLACENAMES A DAY IN THE LIFE OUR PHOTOGRAPHY
HOW'S SHE CUTTIN'? THE CAT LAUGHS? OUR WRITING PICTURES OF THE PAST
NO MORE, NO LESS PICTURES OF OUR AREA HISTORY LOCAL NAMES MEMORIES
GOODBYE TO PRIMARY SCHOOL OUR MILLENNIUM HOW WE WELCOMED... TODAY
SORRY, LEONARDO.... FORTY-FIVE FACES ARCHAEOLOGY MURDERED ARTISTS
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