Rathlee National School

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Grandparents Day

Events and Activities

We would like to thank all the grandparents who took the time to visit us for grandparents afternoon. They gave the children a fascinating insight into what life was like for them when they were young. Many had attended Rathlee National School and they were able to share their memories about that with the children.


My grandmother, Mary Mc Guinness, went to Culleens N.S. from 1926 -1936. They wore no shoes to school in the summertime. They had to bring one horse cart of turf to school . When that ran out, each child had to bring two sods of turf under their arm. It took my Grandmother 10 minutes to walk to school because she lived near the school. There were over 100 pupils going to Culleens N.S.

In those days, two pupils had to stay after school to clean up and sweep the yard and rooms. There was a big open fire and every second hour they would have to stand up because they only sat when writing. If they were not in a straight line they would get hit with the cane. If you did anything wrong you would get hit 4 times. You would have the same teacher for 4 or 5 years. They went to school from half 9 until 3 o clock. Girls and boys were in different parts of the building. They were given 2 pieces of bread and a little butter for lunch. They were given an half hour for break. The toilets were outside and they had no running water.

In those days food was very basic and they ate a lot of the same foods.
For breakfast they ate a boiled egg, bread and drank tea.
For dinner they ate potatoes, turnip or cabbage and a small piece of bacon.
On Fridays they never ate meat so they had herring.
For supper they had tea and bread and an egg in the summer.
In the autumn my Grandmother picked blackberries and her mother made her blackberry pie and if she picked mushrooms her mother fried them.

They had to walk 3 miles to the church to go to mass.

A story my grandmother remembered from school was. A lamb followed one of the girls in her class to school but no one saw the lamb come in. The teacher was from Limerick city and was afraid of every sort of animal. She saw the lamb and screamed and the lamb baaaaed. She made the girl bring the lamb home.

By Nicola Flannelly


On the 3 of February 2010 we celebrated Grandparentsí day. A lot of grannies and granddads came into our school.

Two of the grandparents talked to us about their lives when they were young. Padraic Scott (Nathan and Hannahís granddad)talked to us about school in Cloonenmore in the country side. He said how they had an open fire in his school and that every father had to bring a cart of turf to the school. They played games like Gaelic and hurling. If you were late for school you school you would get hit with a cane. They brought bottles of tea to school.

PJ Clarke(Peter Griffinís granddad) then told us about his schooldays in the town of Ballina. He started school when he was four.He made his communion when he was seven years old and he made his Confirmation when he was eleven. They played with a tennis ball outside at break time.

He got pocket money by collecting jam jars and pieces of metal. In the winter when there was ice he and his friends used to slide on it with their boots. After PJ told us his story the grandparents had tea coffee and some biscuits. I learned a lot from the grandparents today. I will spend a lot more time with my grandparents.

By Darragh Cull

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