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Allenwood GNS, Allenwood, Co.Kildare.
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School History

Allenwood Girls’ School was built in 1957 and opened the same year. Before this time there was only one school in Allenwood for the boys and girls, which is the current Boys School.

The first Principal remembered in Allenwood Girls’ School was Ms Katie Long (R.I.P) who was from Co. Kerry. Miss Long lived in Naas and retired in 1980. She was succeeded by Mrs Maureen Kinnerk who was principal for 28 years.

Mrs Kinnerk started to teach in Allenwood Girls’ School in 1973 and retired in 2008. During her 35 years in the school she taught three generations of the same family. The current principal is Ms Patricia Keely who was appointed in the summer of 2008.   

For many years Allenwood Girls’ School was a three teacher school. Over the years Miss Long and Mrs Kinnerk worked alongside Kitty Manzor, Theresa Kelly, Joan Boland, Mary McCormack and Catherine Duggan. Mrs Rafferty started in the school in October 1982 and replaced Catherine Duggan, then in the same school year Mrs Keely started by replacing Mary McCormack.

It was more than ten years later before the school became a four teacher school. The fourth mainstream teacher that joined was Miss Helen Ryan. Later she was replaced by Mrs Mary Mortimer in March 1995. The introduction of Learning Support & Resource teachers then followed and our school was allocated part-time hours.  Clusters were made with local schools for a teacher based here and the post was filled by Mrs Mortimer. Mrs Julie Hughes then joined the team to teach the class vacated by her and that is when we became a five teacher school.

In 2002 we had enough Learning Support hours combined with Resource hours to create a sixth post and this was filled by Mrs Rafferty. Miss O’Meara started in September 2002 and she taught the class vacated by Mrs Rafferty.

In common with many other villages within commuting distance of Dublin, Allenwood has undergone dramatic demographic and social changes in the last twenty years.  It has gone from being a rural linear settlement to a bustling village with four new housing estates and the population has risen dramatically. The main employers in Allenwood for many years were the state companies Bord Na Móna and E.S.B.  When the E.S.B. Station closed in 1996 the building and site was given over to the community and today it is a successful Enterprise Park which houses many small business, giving employment in the area. Also alongside is the Community Crèche, Brightsparks which is built adjacent to the Enterprise Park. Many of the children in this school use the facilities of Brightsparks Creche and after school club.  The majority of people living in Allenwood Village now have found employment in high-tech computer companies Intel and Hewlett Packard and light industries and in service industries generally situated outside the village.

It was in September 2004 that we had enough children to appoint a seventh teacher. That was when Miss Laura Gill (Mrs Cullinan) started in the school. Her first class was senior Infants and this was the first time we had a fifth classroom teacher. Mrs Kinnerk, the principal at the time moved to teach the junior infants in the computer room while we awaited our new prefab. It arrived in October and we were able to use it after the Halloween break. The prefab had one large classroom and two smaller rooms which were used by the Resource & Learning Support teachers. In the same school year Ms Julie Hughes left the school and she was replaced by Ms Karen Murphy. Lisa Cahill became a permanent member of staff in 2007. Over the following years we had some temporary teachers in the school covering carrer breaks and part-time resource hours. These included Mary Harrington, Sheila Ryan Olyvia Langan, Laura Edgeworth, & Trudie Conlan. In June 2008 Ms Maureen Kinnerk retired and she was replaced by Miss Karen Smullen in September of that year. Karen Murphy left the school in April 2009 to return to her native Co. Cork to take up a teaching post. Miss Maureen Brislane joined the team then and she was with us until June 2013. Last September Miss Maeve Barrett replaced Miss Brislane in the school. We now have two Special Needs Assistants in the School, Jemma McCabe & Amanda O’Sullivan who replaced Gillian Conroy last October.

Memories of Allenwood Girls National School

Written by Nancy O’Farrell (nee Clifford)

I was born in 1929, the year the present Boys’ National School was built. Both of my parents taught in this school. My mother Mary O’ Hara was born in the parish of Berkley Road, in Dublin but her people were from Aughrim in Co. Wicklow. She was trained in Carysfort College having won the king’s Scolarship. She came to the school in 1920. My Father, John Clifford was a native Fedamore in Co Limerick. His parents taught in Carnmore National School. He was trained in St Patrick’s College Drumcondra. He succeeded Mrs Blake as principal in 1921. She used to come to work in a pony and trap with a lovely brass harness.

At that time classes were held in the old green corrugated iron church. Mass was celebrated there on Sundays etc. There were no divisions between the classes and no heating what so ever.....read more