HISTORY OF GLENCOVITT N.S.

 

 

Glencovitt N.S. is situated on the southern uplands above the Twin Towns of Ballybofey and Stranorlar. The school receives its name from the town land of Glencovitt or in gaelic “Gleann” meaning glen or valley and Coimhéad” meaning “look out”. Opposite the school across the little bridge is the town land of Corefrin or in gaelic “carraig” meaning rock and “an Aifrinn” meaning “of the mass” or “mass rock”. Here in this town land during the penal times mass was celebrated on occasions on a rock which can still be seen today. During this period all Catholic bishops, priests and members of religious orders had to leave the country. However many bishops and priests stayed in the country risking death. They celebrated mass in hiding places, in the back lanes of towns or on lonely hillsides where look-out men were posted to give warning of the approach of the dreaded priest-hunters or “Redcoats” as the English soldiers were called because of the bright red uniforms they wore at the time.

Construction of the present school began in 1947 by Slevin Brothers and was officially opened on the 2nd of February 1948. The teachers, Master Brian Deeney, Miss Annie Quinn and pupils transferred from the old primary school in Knock. The first boy registered was Desmond Foy, Drennan and the first girl was Mary Deeney, Drennan. There were seven boys enrolled and eight girls. This school was at the Knock Crossroads. The parish priest and manager was Fr. Devlin P.P. and his curate was Fr O'Connor. The site consisted of half an acre and was funded by the Department of Education and a local contribution.

There were two classrooms each one 18ft wide and 12ft 1” high. There were two cloakrooms. At stone wall surrounded the boundary of the site and the yard was divided in two by a wall. On each side of this wall were dry toilets, which had to be cleaned out at intervals. This wall and toilets were taken away when the school was renovated in 1980 and the toilets were put inside the main building. Oil central heating was installed in 1980 and this replaced the two gas heaters in each room. The yard was tarmacadamed and new mahogany windows were put in at this time also.

Mr Manus O'Donnell replaced Master Brian Deeney as principal in 1960 and Mrs Sheila McGlinchey (nee McGinley of Gola Island) replaced Miss Annie Quinn in 1966. Master Manus O'Donnell took over as principal of Sessiaghoneill NS in April 1974 when Master Paddy Heeney retired. Eamonn McDonnell who was an assistant teacher in Dromore NS was appointed principal by Dr John Marren P.P. to replace Master O'Donnell in 1974.

New families built houses in the area and so the pupil population began to increase so that in 1992 an extra room and toilets were constructed by Mr Brendan Dunnion & Sons. Mrs Philomena Gallen from Letterkenny who had previously taught in Scoil Naomh Brhríd, Boyagh, was appointed as 2nd assistant teacher in September 1992. She taught in the school until 1999 when she left to take up a position in Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Letterkenny. Miss Martina Mulligan was appointed in her place in September 2000. Mrs Sheila McGlinchey retired from teaching at the end of July 2002. Mrs Kathleen Kelly-McIntyre was appointed in her position.

In 2005 Glencovitt was appointed as a base school for Learning Support with Donaughmore N.S. being the partner school in the cluster. Miss Angela Doherty was appointed to this position as Learning Support Teacher in September 2005. In September 2006 Mrs Kelly Mc-Intyre and Miss Doherty swapped roles in order to facilitate Miss Doherty to complete her probationary year. Miss Doherty successfully completed her Diploma in the year 2006 – 2007.

Mr McDonnell retired from Glencovitt NS in August 2007. Miss Mulligan replaced him as Principal Teacher in September 2007. Miss Doherty became a class teacher and a new Learning Support Teacher was appointed, Mr Denis Mulligan. Ms Doherty was also appointed Deputy Principal in September '07. The school population moved to the Meenreagh Resource Centre, Killygordon. This was to facilitate an extension and refurbishment of Glencovitt N.S. The work which was carried out by Gildea Brothers and was completed in July 08'.

The school population are now housed in the refurbished and extended school. A grant of €380,000 was given by the Department of Education and Science. The church provided €27,000 from the gift aid scheme.

An extra classroom, staffroom, office, learning support and resource room have been added to the school. There are storage facilities in each classroom and two stores along the main corridor. Each classroom has two toilets. There is a teachers toilet and a disabled toilet with shower.


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