The School

Skeheenarinky National School in Ballyporeen Parish, Co. Tipperary, is a protected structure. The district served by the school contains the townlands of Skeheenarinky, Coolagarranroe and Kiltankin, all of which are in the same parish. However, throughout its history and because of its geographic location, the school has drawn pupils from other townlands in other parishes, ranging from Cahir, Co. Tipperary to Kilbehenny, Co. Limerick to Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.


Mention ‘Skeheenarinky’ to people who commute between Dublin and Cork on a regular basis and they will invariably respond, “Oh! That’s the place with the lovely old school.” What they might not know is that this is one of the oldest working national schools in Ireland; some may say the oldest, although others also claim the title. It is sufficient to say that the plaque on the wall records the date as 1858. In full, it reads: Skeheenarinky National School 1858 AD.

Even though the school is named Skeheenarinky National School, it was established to provide education to the children of a much wider area, and pupils came – and still do, to some extent – from Skeheenarinky, Coolagarranroe, Drumroe, Kiltankin – all in Co. Tipperary – and Brackbawn, Carrigeen, Knocknagalty, Loughananna, and Knocknascrow in Co. Limerick. The history of this school is also part of the history of those townlands.

– adapted from “Hard Days and Happy Days” with permission