The Convent National School
The Sisters of Mercy, founded by Catherine McCauley in the beginning of the nineteenth century, They very quickly became one of the largest teaching congregations in the country.
Up to 1845 there was no convent in Mallow. On the 13th of October of that year a convent was opened in Mallow by seven sisters of Mercy. These nuns came from Limerick to open this convent. The site of this convent today is occupied by the Credit Union which is in the building next to St. Mary’s Church. In 1845 the Sisters of Mercy also acquired the building next door and this also occupied by Mallow Credit Union today. When occupied by the Sisters of Mercy these two buildings were connected on the inside, and there was also a doorway in the wall separating St. Mary’s Church from the convent so that the nuns could go to Mass in this Church. It was in this convent that the Sisters of Mercy opened their first national school in Mallow.
Exactly one month after the arrival of the Sisters in Mallow they opened a day school in the convent. This school was called Mallow Convent School. There was one room where the children were taught. The room measured 46 ft. by 17 ft. The school was open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and religious instruction took place each day from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. The average daily attendance was 300 pupils.
The school was built of stone and mortar the roof was slated, and was secured by lease for the purpose of education for about ten years. In his report, contrary to the number stated on the application form returned on December 6th 1845 the superintendent records two school-rooms – one lower room’46 ft. by 16 ft. and an upper room 14 ft. by 10 ft. ·The rooms were recorded as sufficiently ventilated and warmed. The scholars paid nothing and the school house was to be kept in repair by the nuns. The school was open to children of all denominations.
At the time of the establishment of this school there were two other national schools in the town – Mallow Male National School and Mallow Workhouse. There had also been a female national school in the town but this school closed its doors the day before the convent opened and its teacher was transferred to the convent school.
The First Teachers
On 13th November 1845 the Convent Female National School opened its doors and the teachers in the school were Eliza O’Connor aged 33 and the Ladies of the Convent. Since 1837, Eliza O’Connor had been a teacher in the Mallow Female National School, which was closed the day before the convent was opened when Eliza O’Connor was transferred to the Convent School.
Movement to A New Area
Sir Denham Jephson whose family lived in Mallow Castle from 16th Century until 1984 offered the Mercy Sisters the site of the present Patrician Monastery. The nuns, although grateful, did not accept the gif t as they did not consider the location sufficiently private.
The Sisters acquired land in Bathview and moved into two houses already built there. The present convent site had been picked out for a presbytery for Frs. Justin and John McCarthy but they opted instead for the two houses for which they insisted on paying rent to the Sisters. The convent was opened in 1850 – it consisted of three rooms, a refectory and a four-roomed national school.
Primary Schooling began in Mallow, from the girls’ point of view, but particularly in Chapel Lane (close to today’s car park). The Regular Ladies taught, at first in a building that is now part of Méanscoil Mhuire at the end of the last century.
The Cloister School was built in 1910. An addition was made to the building in 1945 in the form of four classrooms. The Infants were in that building until 1964 until Scoil Íosagáin was opened.
Six additional classrooms with five common areas, a pool with goldfish, a bird table and a few flower plots were added to this school in 1975. There was a multi-purpose room, a cooking room, a remedial room, a library, a safe room, the Principal’s office, also a staff room in the school.
Credit: Melissa Leahy
Gearr-Insint ar Stair Na Scoile
Thosaigh an Bhunscolaíocht i Mala, ó thaobh na gcailíní de, ach go h’áirithe i Lána an tSéipéil (gar do charr-chlós an lae inniu). Mhúin na Mná Rialta, ar dtús i bhfoirgneamh atá mar chuid de Mhéanscoil Mhuire anois i ndeireadh an chéid seo caite.
Tógadh Scoil an Chlochair sa bhliain 1910. Cuireadh leis an bhfoirgneamh sa bhliain 1945 i bhfoirm cheithre sheomraí ranga. Bhí na Naíonaín sa bhfoirgneamh sin go dtí 1964 nuair a osclaíodh Scoil Íosagáin .
Sé rang-sheomra breise maille le cúig achar camónta, linn ina bhfuil éisc órga, bord éan is cúpla ceapach bláth a cuireadh leis an scoil so bhliain 1975.Bhí seomra ilfhóinteach, seomra cócaireachta, seomra feabhais, leabharlann, seomra daingean, oifig an Phríomhóide, seomra foirne sa scoil freisin.