A loan was procured for the purpose of building a new teachers’ residence by Reverend John Byrne, who appointed Michael Duffy to succeed John A. Newitt. He in turn was replaced by Duncan Hughes (1910-1926) and Joseph Callan (1926-1943). Joseph Sharkey who had earlier served as assistant principal in Philipstown and who later became principal in Dunleer, was appointed by Reverend Michael Rogers and served from 1943 until 1950. He was replaced by Liam Clancey who was principal from 1950 until his untimely death in 1954. He is buried in Dromin old cemetery. His replacement, Thomas Sherlock, was appointed by Reverend Thomas Conlon and served from 1954-1958. On the 9th October 1958, Colm Herity, who would be the last principal of Dromin old school and longest ever serving principal in Dromin, took up his appointment. He was only 24 years old when appointed and continued to serve in both the old and new schools until his retirement in 1991. Colm died in 1994 in only his sixtieth year.
The longest serving assistant teacher was Mrs. Callan who served with Duncan Hughes, her husbamd, Joseph Callan, Joseph Sharkey, Liam Clancey and Thomas Sherlock. From 1941 to its closure Annie Kierans was caretaker of the old school. She was also sacristan of the church and an ambo in her memory now stands on the alter. In 1982 it was decided to convert the old school into a community centre which was mainly used by the local youth club.
Dromin NEW National School
The present building of Dromin National School opened its doors on the 22nd of November 1965 following mass, celebrated by the very Reverend Michael MacCroary, Parish Priest of Dunleer. The congregation included the school children and the clergy who all walked in procession to the site of the new school.
The school was blessed by Monsignor Stokes whose father was from Dromin Junction and his mother from Dunleer. After the blessing, the opening was performed by Ms B. O’Sullivan, deputy chief inspector with the Department of Education.
The new school building, and the church, where both decorated with flags and bunting for the occasion and the ceremony ended with the singing of the hymn ‘Faith of our Fathers’.
The new school opened for lessons on Wednesday 24 November, 1965 with 38 children on the roll. At that time the principal was Colm Herity who had been principal in the old school building since 1958 and was to continue as principal in the new school until his retirement in 1991. Mr. Eoin McKenna taught for a brief period in 1990 and Mr. Thomas MacDonald was appointed as principal in February 1991.
The assistant teacher was Joan Mc Daniel (now Mrs. O’ Connell) who succeeded Mrs. Callan. Miss Geraldine Meehan (now Mrs. Crehan) taught in Dromin for 5 years between 1971-1975. Four of her children attended Dromin School and her grandchildren are here today. She was succeeded by Celia Cronin who taught in Dromin from 1975-1979. Mrs. Marie Clarke, who formally taught in Philipstown school was appointed in 1979. She served here until her retirement in June 1996. A Mrs Jane Stanley was appointed in 1981 as a third teacher when the numbers on the roll rose above 80 for the first time in the 20th Century. Laurena Sharkey replaced Mrs Stanley in 1986 and left in 1988.
The present principal is Seán Clare and the Deputy Principal is Mrs. Eimear Clarke.
School History taken from:
Druim Finn –
A Heritage of Dromin
Land of St Finian’s Monastic Settlement
and where churches were built ‘Between two showers of rain’
Dromin OLD National School
In 1824 the Society for promoting the education of the poor in Ireland reported the following information about the school in Dromin.
‘There was a school in Dromin in which Patrick Byrne, a Catholic taught. The school was held in the Catholic Chapel, and the teacher’s income was £5 per annum. Twenty four children attended the school, eleven boys and thirteen girls, all of whom were Catholic. The school was not associated with a society, nor did it benefit from local patronage. It was a pay school’.
Some years later, in 1837, Samual Lewis indicated that there were about 180 children being taught in the school under the patronage of Reverend W.H. Forster, the incumbent, who paid £10 per annum to the master.
The Dromin National School, or the old school as it is now known, was opened on the 11th January 1841, four years before the Great Famine. The parish priest at the time was the Reverend Thomas McGee, who is buried in Dromin, and the first principal teacher was Pat Fleming, who was aged 35 years.
It was a one roomed school measuring 44 ft x 20 ft, and was built in the chapel yard. There were ten wide desks with seats for the pupils and one large desk for use by the teacher.
A report by Father McGee and Michael Coyle, Superintendent of Schools, in March 1841 stated that ‘from the present attendance there was reason to believe that the average daily attendance would be 100 males and 50 females. Saturdays would be for the religious instruction and the books of the National Schools, the First, Second, Third and Fourth books of lessons, English grammar, Scripture lessons, Geography, Arithmetic and Elements of geometry would be used’. It was also opinionated that Pat Fleming was pretty well qualified to teach, and that he conducted the school pretty well, but not efficiently for want of proper books. Ordinary subjects were taught from 9 to 3 in winter and 9 to 4 in summer, during weekdays, and from 9 to 12 on Saturdays.
In 1852 Pat Fleming, after a number of attempts by the inspector, was replaced by a namesake, Henry Fleming, aged 21 years. He resigned in April 1854 and was replaced by Patrick Finnegan, whose wife acted as assistant. He resigned in December 1854 and there followed short periods in charge for various other teachers, until 1863, when Patrick Finnegan was re-appointed and he held the position of principal until 31st August 1895.
John A. Newitt was appointed to succeed Patrick Finnegan on 1st September 1895 and held the position until 1900. It is interesting to note that he was absent on 14th December 1895 while attending the Presentment Sessions regarding the malicious burning of the teachers’ residence.
In 1922 Dromin School was closed for a period of two moths due to the outbreak of an epidemic of diphtheria.