Stokane National School Reunion

Never a dull moment ...

by Helena (Sweeney) Kelly, Bonniconlon

It seems like only yesterday that I called on Very Rev. Fr. Peter McNama, R.LP. about an advertised vacancy in Stokane National School. As I was the only qualified applicant the job was signed, sealed and delivered there and then and I took up duty on 10th September, 1956.

Needless to say I was teaching the junior classes as was usual for the female teacher to do in those days. I always remember that classroom for it’s shape and size, both suitable to gain and maintain control of the class and to provide a very happy atmosphere for the development of pupil/teacher relationship.

The roll call went like this:-

Naionain: Séamus O hAllanáin, Donncadh O Concabhair, Erril Rolston,Tomás Bairead, Sean Séamus O Ceallaigh, Pádraig Seosamh Mac Aongusa, Merbhin Rolston, Micheál Sean O Fuadaigh, Sean Igoe, Teabaid O hAnlaigh, Pádraicin Ni Chleirighh, Aine M. Ni Bheolain, Brid Máire Nic Amhlaidh, BridTreasa Ni Mhiadaigh, Treasa Ni Chreig.

Rang 1: Micheal O Fuadaigh, Pádraig O Fuadaigh, Beartlai O Murchadha, Mártan O Fuadaigh, Séamus O Górmain, Riobárd Rolston, Antoine O Gallcobhair, Pádraig Seosamh O Beoláin, Ester Ni. Chléirigh, Eibhlln Nic Amhlaidh Eithne Nic Amhlaidh, Maire Nic Aongusa, Brid Aignéis NI Mhaolfabhail

Rang 11: Liam O Cinnéide, Criostoir O Gormain, Mártan O Maolfabhall, Séamus O Gallabhair, Séamus O Murchadha, Adrian Rolston, Maire Ni hOgain, Bernadette Nic Amhlaidlh, Siobhan Ni Chinneide, Maire Cait Ni Mhaolfabhail.

Sadly and tragically two of these have passed to their eternal reward, Bartley Murphy and Christy Gorman. May their souls rest in peace with God.

I was so pleased and happy for Father Michael Foody and his family when he was ordained. It was so kind of him to call at our school in Bonniconion afterwards.

In fifth class we also had another boy who is now a priest, Father Michael Cawley. I had the pleasure of meeting him at a wedding not so long ago and enjoying the chat about Stokane.

Here in Bonniconlon school we have Marie Mc Guinness’s (Toher) lovely children. Sinead, her youngest, looks so much like Marie did when I taught her. Padraig Foody lives down the road towards Carrha and of course Padraig Gallagher owns “The Village Tavern” here in the village of Bonniconlon

I probably am meeting others I taught quite often but because of the passing of time we do not recognise each other. To those I say “I wish you the very best in life and I would be delighted to meet and talk to you.

I had charge of the Senior Division twice a week for singing and they were a pleasure to teach. As we endeavoured to fill the needlework book I got to how the senior girls. We battled away with the gathers, the pleats and the calico patch, not forgetting the print patch and the button-holes - a battle royal indeed. The book complete we then got down to the business of “the sock” and the turning of the heel.

While I taught in Stokane I lived with Joe and Brigid Swift and they accepted me as one of their own. Tom (son) and Chris (daughter) lived in the home also. I enjoyed the social life of the neighbourhood. Joe and Brigid and their son, Martin, are no longer with us. May they rest in peace. Gone to rest also is the gracious Nora, mother of Liam Foody. Chris Swift and I used visit there for a game of cards and Nora would “read the cups” for us.

I got to how all the parents and people of the area. Of course so many of them have gone to rest - most recent to leave us was Walter Tully, R.I.P.

Another outlet which added to our social round were the handcraft classes in the Vocational School under Miss Deignan. Here I made many friends among the women folk of the area.

Of my year in Stokane, I can honestly say there was never a dull moment and I wish to congratulate the Community on the centenary of the school and to thank all those who made me feel so much at home during my time there.

Congratulations to Stokane School

on its Centenary.





Moments in time


Past Pupils