Stokane National School Reunion

Down Memory Lane

- by Edward B. Kilcullen,

Boat Port Lodge,


Co. Sligo.

Dear Friends — Some months ago, my old friend, Mary Finan, suggested to me that I should put in writing, some of my memories of the years I spent in Stokane National School. Needless to say, that only for Mary’s persistence I’m afraid I would have long-forgotten the project.

Well, it is quite a long time since I was a pupil in Stokane N.S. To get the record straight, my first years at school were spent in Kilglass N.S., where my Aunt Mollie Clarke, was Principal, and Miss Furey as her assistant. A memory from that time was Miss Furey’s endeavour to teach me “who made the world” during her teaching of religious knowledge. Well, at the time, Martin Reape, who worked for my father, heard me trying to come to terms with my religion one night, so he told me to tell Miss Furey “that it was myself and Martin Reape with a spade and shovel”, this I duly did, to Miss Furey’s horror.

About 1941, the cars were taken off the road because of the Second World War, and an accute shortage of petrol. At this time, my Aunt took early retirement and, as a result, my sisters, Mary and Kathleen, and myself were transferred to Stokane. The axle was taken from the car, and Robert Carroll was commissioned to construct a cart which was to be our mode of transport from our home to school for the following five or six years. This means of transport was used by ourselves, some of the older members of the Rolston family across the river, Mattie, Elizabeth and Vivian; also by the Gintys, Frank and Rita — at times, between nine and ten of us travelled in our school cart. In Winter time we left in the morning darkness and, indeed, the sun would be well down by the time we arrived home, because John Murphy, who was Principal, opened the school at 9 a.m. and often kept us on to 3.45 p.m. The donkey was housed in Langan’s, just above the school, where three old men lived, namely: Michael, Pat and Tom. Michael was the boss, indeed, I can remember those three fellows very well — Michael and Tom looked after the land and Pat did the cooking; indeed, he baked excellent soda bread and always used carroway seed, as he said it was very good for the kidneys. I noticed, on passing by the school the other day, that the lovely new car park goes as far as Langan’s house once stood. Indeed, I would like to compliment the teachers and parents for how well the school is looking — so bright and airy, besides the jail-like look it had when I was a pupil there.

Well, to continue with my time in Stokane, when the weather would get good at about Easter time, we would all travel in the cart to school, but when evening came the poor donkey would make his way home while we took to the fields exploring the wood which was then owned by Edward Rolston, and now by Michael Gillard. My first years in Stokane were under Miss Hallinan and later Mrs. Mulderrig, who is still living here, in Enniscrone, where her daughter, Sr. Emer, looks after her. Indeed, Mrs. Mulderrig decided I was not capable

of singing a note, and to this day she has been proven right. My last years in school were spent under the very careful supervision of one John Murphy, who was an excellent teacher. Indeed, during the War years he cycled daily to and from his home, in Clooneenmore. I still see him driving to Enniscrone to do his shopping, mind you, he looks well, and he still wears his soft, brown hat in the same style as when I remember him going to school. My good friend, Michael Wilson, tells me that quite a number of our school pals have passed on to their reward, I wish them peace in Heaven. I will conclude by recounting our monthly trip to Confessions in Castleconnor Church at mid-day. For some reason, we always walked, as I suppose the poor donkey had his week’s work done. At the top of the Lachenaslevia Road we would meet up with the Wilsons, the Barretts and Jim Curran, and then Jim Bolands. On our way to the Chapel, Mick Wilson always said that we could use all sorts of bad language as poor Fr. Peter McNama (R.I.P.), would give us absolution, and we would have to behave properly on the way home. Just some of the memories I still cherish of my days in Stokane School.



Congratulations to Stokane School on its Centenary



Moments in time


Past Pupils