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St. Thomas’ N.S. Peterswell




By Bríd O'Donnell

The location of the new school on the main Gort-Loughrea road was probably chosen because of the availability of the property. There was a lot of discussion at the time the new school was built about the fact that it was an extra mile to walk for the students from the “side above” of the parish. It was a mile closer for the “side-below”
The three  roomed school was opened on the 4th March 1946. It was formally opened and blessed by His Lordship, the Most Rev. Dr. Browne, Bishop of Galway. Also at the opening were:Mr. O. Smith, Board of Works, Rev. Fr. Hehir P.P.,
Rev. Larkin C.C.  and Mr. J. Burke, contractor. It is built on one acre and nine perches. Mr. Paddy Murray was principal. The newness of the building in comparision to the old schoo,l is still commented on by past pupils .It wasn’t long before a  certain boy made an attempt to knock part of it. After a disagreement between Mr. Murray and a certain boy ( J.P.) he kicked the wall with “Hobnail” boots and this gap may still be seen today, at the back of the school.
The state funded eight ninths (8/9) of the cost and the other ninth(1/9) was paid by local contribution. An amalgamation took place in 1967 between Peterswell N.S. (2 teacher) and Ré Ramhar N.S. (1 teacher). Mrs. Mernie Gleeson joined the staff of St. Thomas’s N.S.: Mrs. Mary Healy and Mr. Tom McGarry.
The outer toilets were demolished and buried underground in the late 80’s. The existing basketball court was built in the late 80’s on this site. The school was extended to include two toilets, two cubicles for the boys and two for the girls. The urinal  was replaced by toilets in the early 90’s. The school wall was also moved in the late 70’s.

A portacabin was acquired in 2002 to facilitate pupils who attend the Resource Teacher.
These pupils who have special needs have two S.N.A’s, one full time Mrs Mary Burke (2002) and one part time Mrs Bernie Caulfield (2003) to cater for their needs.
A shared Learning Support teacher Mr. Gerard Mooney spends 4 weeks out of every eight dealing with children who require learning support.