• Coolfore, West Farney and the National School System 1826 —1968

Throughout rural Ireland, small single-storey stone buildings can be found, several bearing ‘national school’ on a stone plaque above the door. These are the schoolhouses that were a common feature of the built environment in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The local national school was and still remains an essential institution in the social life of each parish. 


This book tells the story of the national school system in Ireland, since its establishment in 1831 to the mid to late twentieth century. The book takes the case of Coolfore national school, a rural school in south County Monaghan to illustrate how the system developed and operated. Beginning with the pay or ‘hedge’ schools, the book traces the development of the national school system in Ireland and shows how the state-supported system of mass education was highly regulated, bureaucratically operated and locally managed and controlled by vested interests, including the local landlord and his agents and by the denominational churches. 


Dr Gerard Fealy is Emeritus Full Professor at University College Dublin. He was the former UCD Professor of Nursing, Dean of Nursing and the Head of the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. He holds a master’s degree in education and a PhD in the history of education and has published several articles and books on the history of education, nursing and healthcare, including A History of Apprenticeship Nurse Training in Ireland (Routledge 2006), The Adelaide Hospital School of Nursing, 1859–2009 (The Columba Press 2009) and Histories of Nursing Practice (Manchester University Press 2015). A native of County Monaghan, the author lives near Carrickmacross.

Author Gerard M. Fealy
Publisher Eastwood Books
Publication Data November 2023
Subjects General Interest, History,

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Coolfore, West Farney and the National School System 1826 —1968

  • ISBN: 9781916742529
  • Author(s): Gerard M. Fealy
  • Availability: In Stock
  • €20.00

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