About Our School
St.Finian’s is a two teacher, mixed school in the parish of Bagenalstown, Co.Carlow. The school is in a picturesque setting in the foothills of Mt.Leinster.
Garryhill School is under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. Eight classes from junior infants to sixth class are taught. The school follows the curriculum programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Science
St. Brigid’s operates under the Rules for National Schools and Departmental Circulars and is funded by grants and teachers resourced by the Department of Education and Science.
Today Garryhill School is a vibrant modern place of learning. There are two committed teachers, Liam Shinnors who was appointed principal in 2000 and Nicola O’Rourke who joined the teaching staff in 2003. There is a visiting learning support teacher and a visiting music teacher. The teaching staff is supported by Mary our part time secretary and our caretaker Ann.
The school has a Parent-Teacher Association which provides support and funding. This association funds swimming lessons, music lessons, school outings and equipment. Garryhill School is managed by the Board of Management. The Board consists of parents, teachers, nominees of the patron and representatives of the Garryhill Community. The Board ensures that the school environment is modern and fully equipped with the most appropriate teaching aids and resources.
The existing school was opened in 1936. But education in Garryhill goes back to pre famine times. Originally there had been a National and Agricultural school here. Loughlin Ryan who had been a hedge school master in the 1840’s ( before Lord Bessborough of Garryhill House built a school for him), taught here until he retired in 1886. Loughlin’s son Malachy taught in Garryhill. He taught Greek and Latin to students who wished to study for the Priesthood. Malachy’s son John taught here for one year but sadly died and Malachy’s other son, Patrick taught in Garryhill in this school. He married Cecilia Kealy from Kilanerin Co. Wexford also a teacher who taught in Garryhill until her retirement. Patrick and Cecilia Ryan built their house in 1937 on the site of the old National and Agricultural School.
Cecilia came from a very musical family and, in 1943, when prompted by a question from a school inspector she formed a flageolet band. She selected 16 pupils to teach and soon the children were playing all over Carlow and Wexford. Marching tunes, jigs, reels and hornpipes were no bother to them.
In 1983 Sandra Ryan, granddaughter of Cecilia and Patrick and a great great granddaughter of Loughlin came to teach in Garryhill where she spent two and a half years before moving into educational research. Sandra Ryan left Garryhill in 1986 exactly one hundred years after her great, great grandfather Loughlin Ryan retired from Garryhill in 1886.
Today Garryhill School is a vibrant modern place of learning. There are two committed teachers, Liam Shinnors who was appointed principal in 2000 and Nicola O’Rourke who joined the teaching staff in 2003.