A Brief Timeline:

  • 1807    Jeremiah O’Grady runs a hedge school at Coolisteigue.
  • Two hedge schools:Jeremiah O’Grady 32 pupils at Coolisteigue.George Franklin hedge school at Doonass.
  • 1818    John Guerin teaches 80 pupils in the Catholic Chapel.
  • 1827    John Guerin moves to a new school house beside the Chapel.
  • 1831    National Board of Education established.
  • 1839    Application for aid to build a new school house on a 2 acre site opposite Coolisteigue Castle. Two years later the National Board of Education canceled the school grant due to a local disagreement. The first application to the commissioners of the National Board of Education for assistance in the payment of teachers salaries and for the purchase of books came on 8th August 1845 from the manager Rev. Michael McMahon. Teacher’s name was given as John Guerin Junior aged 25. One month later the teacher’s salary paid and a stock of free books for 100 children were supplied. Rev. Michael McMahon makes a further application for aid to pay teacher’s salary for a newly established female school. Aid granted 10 pounds for Margaret
    Hickey’s salary(aged 22)first taught at Caherconlish National School and spent one year at Birdhill National School. She retired 31stDecember 1854 to take up a position at Nenagh. Over the next 3 decades there was a decline in teaching standards and the school building had fallen into disrepair. The old building was demolished and the rebuilding of a new school began. Meanwhile school was transferred to “Oakfield House”.
  • 1884    The new school opened for boys with Patrick Crowe,a native of Coolderra, appointed as principal. One year later the girls school was opened with
    Marcella Hamilton a native of Clonlara, as principal. For the next 30 years or more, both principals brought stability and continuity to the educational system in Clonlara.
  • 1898    The credit for bringing about the teaching of Irish at Clonlara School is mainly attributed to the appointment of Patrick Pearse a native of Cappakea
    in Bridgetown, as assistant in 1898. He left in 1903 to take up the position of principal in Bridgetown.
  • 1903    The Gaelic revival was continued by Danial Honan a native of Ballynacally in West Clare.He later became principal when Patrick Crowe retired in 1919.
  • 1909    Following the closure of the Church Of Ireland School near the village the students mainly the Brownes and Warrens were transferred to the National School.
  • 1917    Marcella Crowe retired in her 48th year as principal with a presentation of a Parish Address and Mary Flangan a native of Co. Westmeath was appointed
    as principal with Miss Helena Hogan a native of Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare as assistant.
  • 1922    Teaching of Irish on the school curriculum was made compulsory.
  • 1927    German children from the Shannon Scheme registered as pupils.
  • 1934    Due to the falling numbers in attendance in the boys’ and girls’ schools they both were amalgamated into a mixed school.
  • 1939    The oral history, folklore and traditions of the parish was collected by senior pupils of the school for the Folklore Commission.
  • 1946    Mary Honan formally Mary Flanagan retires after 37 devoted years of service with presentation of Parish Address.
  • 1947    Daniel Honan, Principal, retires in October.
  • 1950    School house was in poor condition and the focus was put on the building of a new National School. Fundraising consisted of parish collections, Sale of Work and an annual festival of marquee dancing, all under the auspices of Muintir Na Tíre and the G.A.A.
  • 1958    Clonlara defeated St. Josephs of Ennis to capture their first ever under-age hurling championship.
  • 1961    Retirement of Mrs. Helena Sheedy (nee Hogan) with the presentation of a Parish Address after a devoted service of 44 years.
  • 1968    Opening of a new National School.
  • 1983    Retirement of Patrick Honan, appointment of Pádraig Mac Ghiolla Phádraig.
  • 1984    New school extension including 3 classrooms and P.E. hall.
  • 1992    Division 1 & INTO 7’s Hurling Champions.
  • 2006    Launch of Parish History DVD “A Sense of Place”.
  • 2007    Retirement of Ms.T Fitzgerald after 37 years service
  • 2007    Opening of the new two storey extension including SET classrooms.
  • 2010    Retirement of Pádraig Mac Ghiolla Phádraig after 23 years, appointment of Eddie Horgan.
  • 2011 Cumann na mBunscol Division 1 Hurling & Camógie Champions
  • 2022 The Hub is created in our oldest prefab as a saf, quiet sensory place
  • 2018 Retirement of Eddie Horgan after, _ years appointment of Kilnaboy native Donnchadh Kelleher.
  • 2023    New uniform introduced
  • 2024    Introduction of Hot Meals to all pupils
  • New school website is launched


Clonlara School Boys 1940

Back row:  Timmy McInerney, Pa Carmody, Jimmy Hackett, John O’Shea, Tom Hickey, Paddy Moloney, Maurice Torpey.

2nd row: Dan Flannery, Michael Hackett, Joe O’Shea, Paddy Monaghan, Paddy Sheedy, Martin McNamara, Pa Hannan, George Bourke.

3rd row: Pat Crowe (Deerpark), Arthur Stritch, Michael Carmody, Denis Ryan, P.J. Galvin, P.J. Stritch, Eddie Mason, Donie Crowe.

4th row: John Hannon, Tom Ryan, Simon McNamara, Sean Quinn, Hubert Galvin, Michael Reilly, Billy Reilly, Joe Curtain,  John McNamara.

Front row: Eddie Monaghan, Ted Garvey, Tom Galvin, Patsy Galvin.


Clonlara School Girls 1940

 Back from left: Josie Moloney, Josie Moloney, Mary Collins, Nonie Spaight, Annie Honan, Mary Mason.

5th row: Brid Clancy, Kitty Galvin, Mazie Flannery, Maura Hamilton, Mary Clancy, Chrissie Murphy.

4th row: Mary O’Meara, Mary Garvey, Mary Murphy, Bridie Ryan, Theresa Hackett, Eileen Mason, Emmie Crowe.

3rd row: Bridget O’Sullivan, Nan Burke, Brid Burke, Maureen McNamara, Margaret McNamara, Bridie McNamara, Bridget Quinn, Kitty Gully, Nancy Torpey.

2nd row: Margaret Quinn, Mary Monaghan, Mary Monaghan, Jenny Gully, Phil McNamara, Kitty Egan, Kathleen Flannery, Nancy Quinn.

Front row: Dolly McGuinness, Lily McGuinness, Kathleen Mason, Tessie Galvin, Pauline Stritch, Esa Stritch, Bridie Egan, Maureen Egan, Brid Sheedy, Masie McNamara.