St.Eunans National School

History of The School

The History of Scoil Adhamhnáin


The very first Catholic Primary School in Raphoe was located in the grounds of the existing church car park. It was a thatched building, with one classroom. The classroom was upstairs, and horses were kept in the lower part of the building downstairs.

The records of Catholic Education in Raphoe can only be traced back to the first day of January 1868, when Mr William McCaffery was appointed principal. On the first day of July, 1869, Anne McCaffery, presumably his wife, was appointed as assistant teacher in this two – teacher National school names St Eunan’s. This was a boy’s school with a total enrolment of 27 pupils. By the 8th of February 1870, the numbers on the rolls increased to 39 boys, and seven years later, the numbers increased to 53.

The School House at the time was situated where the Chapel Car park is today. It was a thatched, one room building with stables for ponies underneath. Parishioners travelled to mass on Pony and Traps in those days and the ponies were stabled underneath the Schoolhouse.

An Inspectors Report in March 1870 states that the conditions of the classroom were not suitable for teaching or learning as drops of black watery soot was falling on the children’s copybooks.

James McLoone was appointed Principal on the 12th of December 1883 when the number on rolls was 31 boys. An Inspectors Report on the 8th of March 1886 states” It is to be regretted that in so an important little town as Raphoe, there is no better schoolhouse” On the 21st April, 1890 another report states – “ I regret to see Raphoe at a standstill as regards school accommodation. Some of the maps are the personal property of Mr McLoone, having been purchased at the Royal school auction and if taken away will have to be replaced by new ones. No toilet facilities provided.”

On the 10th April 1893 the Inspectors Report states “The Manager has it in contemplation to provide better house accommodation” On the 16th of April 1894 – The manager has applied for a grant towards building a new vested school house.”

James McLoone left to take up a new appointment in Glenties in April 1890.

James Furey a native of Raphoe was appointed Principal on the 1st of May, 1890.

A new two – roomed school was built on the site where the parents park their cars at the front of the existing school near the main road to Convoy. Forty eight boys were on roll in 1890, 16 in Senior Standards. Robert Little a School Inspector reported on the 23rd of August 1907 that the schoolhouse was over ventilated and rather cold and that the lavatory had been provided at the back of the school.

Mr Furey retired as Principal on the 30th of September 1927 and Mr John McGlinchey was appointed Principal on the 1st of October 1927 having taught as an Assistant in Drumoghill N.S. previously. Rose Corrigan who later became Rose Carlin was appointed as a privileged assistant on the 1st of October 1925 having taught in the girl’s school from the 5th of October, 1920 as Principal. She retired on the 30th of June 1963. The school population increased from being a three teacher school in 1931 to an eight teacher school in 1993, when over 200 pupils attended the school. Mr McGlinchey retired in 1959 and was succeeded by Mr Tom Coll as principal from Gweedore.

Mr Coll was Principal until his retirement on the 1st September 1998. Mr Coll was succeeded on the 2nd of September 1998 by Mr Hugo Lafferty, from Stranorlar. Mr Lafferty was succeeded by the current principal, Mrs Anita Keeve on the 2nd of September 2019.