In the early 1970s the policy of the Government of the day was to amalgamate all the one and two teacher national schools where possible. They felt they had very sound educational and economic reasons for this fairly radical policy at the time. There were two 2 teacher schools serving the educational needs of the Kilmacduagh and Killomoran, (Kilmacduagh N.S. and Killomoran N.S.) communities at this particular time. Both were viable from a numbers perspective but Kilmacduagh N.S. in particular was in a serious state of disrepair. To be frank it was a third world facility with no electricity, no running water and it had external dry toilet facilities. The heating left a lot to be desired and the building was in danger of being condemned on health and safety grounds. One morning the teachers arrived in school to find a sizeable chunk of the ceiling on the floor, luckily it happened during the night and not when the children were in class.
The Parish Priest at the time was Canon George Quinn (RIP) and he threw all his energies into the amalgamation process despite fierce opposition from both school communities. The people of Killomoran felt that they were losing the focal point of their community and that it wouldn’t take a massive investment to bring their school up to acceptable standards. The Kilmacduagh parents did not wish to lose Ms Nancy Owens (RIP), their junior teacher, who was universally popular and who provided their children with many skills in the Art and Craft field. The central school in Tierneevin would only cater for three teachers and Ms Owens would have to move on. Unfortunately the Diocesan panel rules would not apply to her because at that time she wasn’t recognised as a fully trained teacher despite having over 20 years’ experience. In this era there were many teachers in the same position due to the fact that it was impossible to attract young trained teachers to rural schools. Eventually the Department of Education granted a special training course for these people to qualify them as primary teachers thanks mainly to the trojan work of Ms. Owens against all the odds.
The parish owned the site for the proposed new school and the parish priest ploughed ahead with the building in the face of very stiff opposition from both communities. Both schools were closed at the end of 1975 and the new central school, Scoil Naomh Colmán Mac Duaigh was opened. Initially the Kilmacduagh pupils attended with only a handful of the Killomoran children joining. The Killomoran parents continued their boycott for a number of months despite protracted negotiations. Thankfully a peace was brokered and all the children returned to school without a hint of animosity between the two school communities.
The principal of Killomoran N.S., Mrs Mary Donnellan (RIP), was appointed as principal of the new central school with Mrs Annie Quinn and Mr Matt Murphy as the two assistant teachers. Mrs Donnellan retired as principal in 1981 and Mr Murphy was appointed as her successor in September of that year. Mr Murphy was principal of Scoil Naomh Colmán Mac Duaigh for fifteen years and was replaced in 1996 by Mrs Paula Cummins, who was principal for twelve years .In 2008 Mrs Ann Lynskey, the current principal, was appointed.
All in all, there have been four principals and seven other permanent teachers in the 41years of the school’s history:
- Mrs Mary Donnellan (RIP) 1975-1981 Principal - Mr Matt Murphy Assistant Teacher 1975-1981, Principal 1981-1996 - Mrs Annie Quinn 1975-1988 Assistant Teacher - Ms Maria Long 1981- Present, Assistant Teacher - Joan Hillery 1989- 2004 Assistant Teacher - Mrs Paula Cummins 1996-2008 Principal - Mrs Ann Lynskey Assistant Teacher 2004-2008, Principal 2008-Present - Mrs Vanessa Fairweather 2005- Present Assistant Teacher - Mrs Aoife O Connor 2008-Present, Assistant Teacher - Ms Grainne Ruane - 2011 - PRESENT, Assistant teacher - Ms Sheila Forde 2015-present - Assistant teacher
Over the forty one ears and under the leadership of the four principals and their Boards of Managements, staff, parents and the wider school community there has been much change to the building and the school grounds. These alterations include new windows, doors, roof, playground, interactive whiteboards, play shelter, storage cabin, toilets, an extension and a preschool and after school facility.
The biggest changes that have taken place in education over the past 40 years have been in the curriculum. In 1999 the Department of Education and Skills, as it is now known, introduced the new curriculum. This curriculum places a major emphasis on a “hands on” approach to education. This marked a huge change in the education system and Scoil Naomh Colmán Mac Duaigh has embraced this. As we look to the future we look forward to further change and development as this is how a school blossoms.
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