Two-Mile-Borris National School – Scoil Mochaomhog Naofa

The School in Two-Mile-Borris is located at the crossroads in the heart of the village. It is now a seven teacher school, having come a long way since the construction of the first school in 1846. Generations of children have passed through the classrooms here, and judging by the growth of the village in recent years, they will continue to do so for generations to come.
Education has always been important to the people of Two-Mile-Borris. Maps from the 1840s show the presence of a schoolhouse near the Turnpike and another at Boulabeha Bridge, just beyond Ballyduff. There were also hedgeschools operating in the area. One of these was run by a man called John Manning and was located at either Ballymoreen or Shanbally. The other was at Ballyvinane and was taught by a Mr Holmes.

The Old School

The original school was located directly across the road from the present school, beside Corcoran’s. It was built on a plot of 15 perches which were leased from Count John O’Reilly of Delvin, County Westmeath.The government gave a grant of £60 3s 4d towards the building of the school. The building was rectangular, 34 ft by 18 ft, with a slated roof. The side facing the road had three windows. The door was positioned on the Ballyduff end. The chimney and fireplace were at the other end. It consisted of just one classroom.

The school opened on 13th March 1846, the feast day of St Mochaomhog who founded the monastery at Liathmore in 590AD. The trustees of the school were the Very Reverend Robert Grace, PP, James B Kelly, Solicitor and William Fogarty of Moycarkey Castle. Shortly after the school opened, an inspector visited and noted that the school was not adequate for the future needs of the local population. Plans for the future were already underway. The last headmistress to serve in the old school was Margaret Carroll of Moyne. She taught there from 1900 until the school closed in 1912.

The New School

The new school was completed in 1912. It is still in use today and can be seen at the crossroads in Two-Mile-Borris. The site on which it stands was donated by Billy Maher of Beechmount. It had two classrooms, each with it’s own entrance, hallway and cloakroom. The classrooms were divided by a moveable wooden partition so that the school could be converted into one large room for special occasions.
The population of the village went through a period of rapid growth in the 1970s with the construction of Father Harkin Park. An additional prefabricated structure was added to the rear of the school in 1977 and the school gained a third teacher. This prefab served as a ‘temporary’ home for pupils for the next eleven years.
Scoil Mochaomhog Naofa
Two-Mile-Borris was designated as a development area by the County Council in the 1980s. This lead to the construction of the Fanning Park housing development. The classrooms of the school were overcrowded and the campaign for a school extension which had been initiated by Fr Danny Ryan and Fr Denis Curtin was finally brought to fruition by Fr Dick Kelly, the teachers and the Board of Management. Approval for the extension was given and four new classrooms and the first real staff amenities were added. The school gained another teacher in 1989, and a fifth has joined since then. Scoil Mochaomhog Naofa was officially opened by Mary O’Rourke, then Minister of Education,in December 1995.
The school shows no sign of reducing in size anytime soon. The construction of Cluain na Seimre in the mid-nineties and the many new private housing developments around the village have ensured the school a role for many years to come.
Since the opening of the extension in 1995 the school has gained 2 new teachers who have classrooms in prefabs located at the far end of the building on the tarmacadam court.
The Community Field located parallel to the school building is of great benefit to the teachers as a car park and also to the children as a play area and a sports field.