School History

Glenville’s First National School

At the beginning of the 1800s there weren’t many permanent school buildings in the Irish countyside. Teachers taught the children in huts, stables or at the side of the road. These schools were called hedge schools. People were very poor at that time. The teachers were not paid by the government. The people paid them. The parents couldn’t afford a lot. So teachers were usually poor. In Glenville there weren’t a lot of hedge schools. But in 1821 the landlord in Glenville built a real school for the children in Glenville. The landlord’s name was Mr. Hudson and he lived in Glenville Manor. The first teacher’s name was James O’ Connell. The school had two classrooms one downstairs and one upstairs. After a while a second teacher joined the school. Outside the school there was a big tub of water so that the children could wash their feet after their long walk to school. They had no other way of getting to school except walking. Since they were all poor they couldn’t afford shoes so their feet got very dirty. The school closed in 1953 and a new school was built.

By Jack McCarthy

The Old School

1953 was a very important year as the long awaited new school house was built.Consisting of two classrooms. It’s first principal was Mr Daniel O’ Sullivan who had also been Principal in the old school. On his retirement Mr Florence Coughlan Principal of Chimneyfield transferred to Glenville a short time before his death. Mr Bartholomew Dunlea was appointed Principal in 1957 and served until his retirement in 1996. Mr. Michael O’ Donnell was then appointed as Principal in 1996. In the late 1960’s it was government policy to amalgamate small schools and to provide a better teaching service by doing so.To compensate for the increased travel necessitated by such closures a free school bus service was set up and continues to the present day. In the case of Chimneyfield school it was decided to join with Glenville school in 1968. Then under the new arrangement there were four teachers.The provision of a tennis court was made possible by the generosity of an ex-parishnor who sent funds from America for the benefit of the parish.

By Sean O’Driscoll and Cathal Maloney


The above school building more than served its purpose and due to our school community expanding steadily we were happy to hear that Minister Batt  O’Keeffe announced we were to finally get a new school.  This news was welcomed greatly by both school staff and families as the conditions were worsening year by year.

Our New School


On Friday 15th April 2016 we celebrated our Official opening of our new school. Thankfully the weather remained dry and there was a fantastic turnout from the local community both young and old to help us celebrate this momentous occasion! The whole school was involved in the preparation and as always the children of Glenville NS rose to the occasion from the Guard of Honour to the very talented performance on stage by the older children. We are very proud of our new school and Community hall and still cannot believe we are finally in it!


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