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The History of Castlerock National School

Scoil Naomh Bharbara


Castlerock N.S is situated in the Parish of Kilmactigue close by Lough Talt and the Ox Mountains; it was named after a companion of St.Attracta called Barbara.St.Attracta’s Holy Well is in the nearby village of Gleenavoo. Records show that the school existed in Castlerock in the mid 1840’s and possibly as early as the 1830’s. It was a two – roomed structure with a slated roof, white washed inner walls and out offices. One room was Castlerock Male National School and the other was Castlerock Female National School. There were over 100 children on the rolls.

On 1st October 1909, it became co – educational when the two schools amalgamated. An additional room was added to the North gable in 1933. It then became a 3 teacher school with 115 pupils. It continues to be upgraded and renovated down through the years. In the mid 1950’s Largan National School at Lough Talt was closed and it was amalgamated with Castlerock.


During the early 1960’s the school got its first face lift, the yard at the back of the school was concreted , outside toilets, septic – tank and shelters were built , the water supply was connected to the mains. The open fires were replaced by stoves, the wall along the road was built, the boundary fence along the play yard was put in place and the school got two teak outside doors.

In April 1998, the old windows were replaced by new PVC windows, but still maintained the old window design. New toilets and a cloakroom were build inside which led to the loss of one of the classrooms. Electric heaters were also installed at this time.


In September, 1999, Mrs. Patricia Gawley took over as Principal with just six pupils on the roll. By January 2000, the number on the roll had increased to twenty four, which led to the application for a second teacher. An application for new furniture was also placed at the same time. By September, 2000, the numbers had further increased to thirty seven; this in turn led to the appointment of Mrs. Bernie Carty in December 2000.Castlerock N.S became a three teacher school in 2003and Claire Roberts took up this appointment. In September 2008, Ms Donna Egan took over this position.

A portacabin has provided accommodation for the third classroom during this time.

In 2008, Castlerock N.S was granted aid by the Department of Education to build a new school, but unfortunately the existing site was not large enough to meet the planning requirements. A site was successfully secured in 2009 and in April 2010 the Board of Management received planning permission from Sligo Count Council to build a new school building, it is expected that site work will commence in early May 2010.

Staff & students moved to the brand new Castlerock N.S. on the 15th of April 2011. The official opening of the new school took place on Friday the 24th of June 2011. Castlerock National School is a modern, state of the art 3-teacher school with an office, GP room, multi-purpose room, staff room and kitchen, large yard and playing field.

It was designed by Hamilton Young Architects and constructed by Kilcawley Construction. The whole project was completed in less than a year.

In September 2015, due to the high pupil/teacher ratio for small schools, a subsequent decline in roll numbers and larger classes leaving to attend secondary school over a number of previous years,  we reverted to a 2 teacher school once more with 46 pupils on roll.

In September 2018, following the retirement of both Mrs Patricia Gawley and Mrs Bernie Carty,   Mrs Carmel Burke was appointed as Principal and Mrs Dolores Marren appointed as Assistant Principal.