Bansha National School

Aspects of Hostory

Bansha National School exists in its present location for 140 years. The National System of Education was established in Ireland in 1831. Ireland was then a British colony and the ruling British Liberal Party wanted to educate the Irish with a controlled curriculum. It was a radical decision at the time and it introduced a system of education that survives in modified form to the present day. Up to this time many agencies were involved in providing elementary education to the Irish. Most of these were considered by the majority of Catholics to be proselyting agencies (groups who aimed to change Catholic religious beliefs in a school setting).


The most popular form of education before 1831 was carried out in Hedge Schools.implementation of the new system, under the control of a state board of seven commissioners, was a gradual process. Parents began sending their children to the state funded schools because the fees were lower than in the Hedge Schools. Teachers took up posts in them because they were guaranteed a regular salary. In 1849 a school in Bansha was one of 973 schools in Munster under the new system.


On the 20 January 1849 Edmund O'Mahoney (Knocknagore House) applied to the commissioners for aid for a teacher's salary and for supply of books. This school was situated almost half a kilometre north of the present school on Kett's land. (Take the left at Padjo's house. The school was inside the gap in the second field on the left.) According to the report of the commissioners for that year there were 81 children on the rolls for 30 September 1849, 45 males and 36 females. The school had one male teacher, Thomas Delohery, age 42 years, and received an annual grant for books. In August 1850 Michael O'Neill succeeded Thomas Delohery. Roll numbers increased and extra staff was appointed. In 1856 there were 197 males and 68 females on roll, totalling 175 in all. Patrick Coleman was Headmaster in 1871, Margaret Hickey was Junior Literary Assistant and Mary Coleman was Second assistant.