A Brief History of Balla National School

On May 11th 1832 the original application for a school in Balla was made by Fr. P Nolan PP supported by a letter from Sir Francis Lynch Blosse. A Commodius site was donated by Lynch Blosse at a nominal rent of one shilling. 

The cost of the building was estimated at £120. The final cost was £140. The major cost of the building which measured 40″ by 80″ was borne by Lynch Blosse and the trustees were Lynch Blosse (Church of Ireland) and Fr. Nolan (Catholic church). 

A second application for grant towards the payment for teachers and the fitting out and furnishing of the school was made on March 2nd 1835. The building with an area of 60″ by 20″ by 18″ was completed and the subscriptions + grant equalled £110. The parents’ subscription for the salary of the teachers was £13. The school was open 5 days a week from 10.00 a.m. until 5.00 p.m. and Religious Instruction was on Saturday. 

The average for the quarter was 150 male and 60 female. The daily attendance varied greatly 19-108. The first teachers were Mr. Kilgarrif 1835-1847 and Mr Thomas Towey 1848. 

Fr. Callaghan succeeded Fr. Nolan and he resigned in September 1847 due to Dr. McHale’s opposition to the National Schools. 

Sir Henry Lynch Blosse and Lady Henrietta Lynch Blosse (corrospondant with the Board of Education) took over the management. The school was suspended from 1839-1842. In 1842 the school was divided into two rooms for a Boys and Girls school. Mrs Rose Kilgarrif was appointed to the Girls school at a salary of £8 per annum. Her husband’s salary was £15. 

Lady Lynch Blosse remained the correspondent up to 1860 and was succeeded by Fr. Ed Gibbons on the nomination of Lynch Blosse in 1870. The school provided for both denominations until the Church of Ireland population died out after the departure of the Landlord; and both denominations co-operated in the foundation and support of the school. 

A new school (the present school) was built in 1937, and in 1974 an amalgamation was completed. It comprised Balla Boys, Balla Girls and Prizon School. In 2012 a further extension was completed including three new classrooms.  An additional resource teaching room and access facilities opened in September 2014.