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  Link to previous Shanbally school website, pre-2004:

Shanbally 2004 website homepage

A Brief History of our School

The earliest written records which survive in the school are of (a) Shanbally Girls’ School in 1886, and (b) Shanbally Boys’ School in 1890. In those days the Boys and Girls schools operated separately, all the boys being in one room and all the girls in another. The condition of that school building was often commented upon by visiting Inspectors (on His Majesty’s service!!) as being “appalling”. Indeed the children themselves were generally in a poor state of nourishment and dress due to the pertaining conditions in the locality. The most common occupation listed for the parents of the time was ‘Labourer’ and often this meant a meagre income.

Then in 1890 a ‘new’ school was built near the Church, located where the present car park is situated. Mr. John Barry became Principal in 1898 and it rapidly improved, considering the Head Inspector’s word of 1891 (Mr. Newell) – “Of course it was one of the worst in Ireland when Mr. Foy took charge!” – The curriculum then was quite narrow, consisting of mainly the ‘3-R’s’, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, with a great emphasis on handwriting and ‘tables’. Mr. John Barry, known locally as “the Master”, gave 34 years of service to Shanbally N.S.His great grandson, Peter, and his great grand daughters, Lisa and Ellen recently attended the school.

  • In 1932 Richard B. O’Flynn was appointed Principal, and his wife Kathleen became Assistant in 1933. Their arrival oversaw the development of school matters until the late 60’s. They brought a greater variety to the curriculum, with music, sewing, drawing, “Drill” in the yard, liturgical festivals, Christmas concerts in the Forrester’s Hall, Cork County Schools Sports, our own school sports, etc., all forming special memories for many of the parents. It was also the age of the ‘Primary Cert’. which in retrospect, cruelly classified children as failures before they had even started life in earnest, and totally ignored any talents the child may have had. Bernie taught here for 34 years until 1966 and his wife Kathleen for 38 years until 1971 – a real ‘lifetime of service!’
  • In 1961 a third teacher was appointed (Ms. Claire Breen) and so the two-roomed school could no longer accommodate all pupils. The local FCA Hall was converted to a classroom, where the middle classes were taught by Mrs. O’Flynn. Meanwhile the campaign to have a new school built was underway and this finally came to fruition in 1964, when the Foundation stone was laid, and, with the opening the ‘New’ School in May 1965. It was with great pride that Mr. and Mrs. O’Flynn oversaw the transition from the old school to the new school
  • Mr. Michael O’Donovan was principal for a short time until Christmas 1969, when he died suddenly, R.I.P.
  • Mr. Con O’Leary became principal in January 1969, and was in charge until June 1988. He, with his staff of dedicated teachers, oversaw the introduction of the ‘New Curriculum’ in 1970, and maintained a high standard of education, continuing Shanbally National School’s reputation as one of the best National Schools in Cork. Suddenly, with the advent of the “Multinationals” in Shanbally/Ringaskiddy area, the nature of the little rural community began to change. The rate of high employment among the parents of the school was often in direct contrast to the rest of the country. There was a danger at one time that the whole community would be swallowed by the IDA expansion. But the school thrived and was a strong focal point for the community, and continues to be so today.
  • Anne Marie Barry was appointed assistant in 1977, her first teaching post, and was deputy principal until her retirement in 2015. Anne Marie lead many exciting initiatives in the school and is remembered for her skills in Arts and Crafts and Gardening. Ms. Patricia Kelly was appointed in 1981, a fantastic musician and dedicated teacher who retired recently.
  • Mr. Liam Shanahan was appointed Principal in 1988. Liam is a past pupil of Shanbally N.S. where he attended from 1958-1966, in a class of four boys and five girls.
  • school pic on homepageThe main school building, which was built in 1964 as a three-teacher school, was extended in 1993. Currently it accommodates three mainstream classes, a General Purpose Room and School Office. The school has grown rapidly over the last number of years, It has now reached its maximum enrolment number, as agreed between the Patron of the school and the Department of Education and Science. 
  • Meanwhile temporary accommodation of a high standard is being used to accommodate several Mainstream Classes, Resource and Learning Support Classes, a Special Class, in conjunction with the HSE, for children with Speech and Language Disorders, Principal’s Office, a Staff room and a Meeting Room.
  • Mr. David Nolan was appointed principal in January 2012 and continues to lead Shanbally NS as a place of learning, blending the best of tradition with a progressive approach to learning.



    The History Of Teachers in Shanbally

Anne O’Sullivan     Appointed 1891 – Girls’ School

Mr. Richard Foy –   Appointed 1890 – Boys’ School

Mrs. Mary Jones –    1902

Mr. Cramer —     1895

Mr. J. Barry —     1898

Assistant teacher :    Ms. Barry

The Girls and Boys Schools were amalgamated and mixed in 1937.

Permanent Teachers:  (1932- present day)

1932 —-    Mr. Richard O’Flynn

1933 —-    Mrs. K. O’Flynn

1961 —-    Ms. Clare Breen

1965 —-    Ms. O’Keeffe

1966 —-    Mr. Michael O’Donovan

1969 —-   Mr. Con O’Leary

1971 —-     Ms. Olive Brennan

1977 —-    Ms. Mary Halbert

1977 —-    Ms. Anne Marie Barry

1981 —-    Ms. Patricia Kelly

1988 —     Mr. Liam Shanahan

1991—-     Ms. Orla O’Brien

1995 —-   Ms. Kathleen Tuohy

2001 —-   Ms. Mary Sheahan

2001 —-   Ms. Oonagh Cunningham

2001 —-   Ms. Mairead Tate

2003 —-  Mr. Padraig Clifford

2005 —    Ms. Sinead Ni Loinsigh

2005 —    Ms. Naomi O’Donovan

2005—-    Ms. Eilish Callanan

2007—-    Ms. Nollaig Boland

2010—-    Ms. Aideen O’Mahony

2011—       Ms. Claire O’Connell

2012—      Mr. David Nolan

2012——Ms. Margaret Dullea

2012——Ms. Sandra Moran 

            2018 —- Mr Stephen Cunningham

            2019— Ms Aoife Harrington

            2020— Ms Mary Crowley

            2020—- Ms Kate O Sullivan

            2020—- Ms Eirinn Cahalane





See STAFF page for current list of school staff. 

Link to previous Shanbally school website, pre-2004:

Shanbally 2004 website homepage