Rathcoole National School

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  • South Dublin Schools

A School in a Cottage

Let's take a look at the Holy Family National School, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin.

Although it has been relocated several times over the years, the school still remains open today. The idea of a school is much greater than the building that houses it. It includes the school's history, tradition, staff and past and present pupils.

Rathcoole National School had humble beginnings. In 1857, the postmaster's house in Rathcoole became vacant. It was a neat, thatched cottage in good repair.

It was decided to start a school there and place it under the National School Board. James Sheil of Rathcoole House became the manager of the new school and Eliza Carroll was its first teacher.

Rathcoole Village

The Holy Family National School is located in Rathcoole village in South County Dublin.Look at the photo of Rathcoole taken around 1900, when it consisted of just one street. It is now a thriving area with over 250 businesses.

In the foreground on the right is Fyan's public house, which had one of the oldest licences in Ireland. Beyond that is Jacobs' shop. In the large upstairs, the local Magistrate's Court and Assizes were held. In the background is the Church of Ireland belfry.

Despite its small size in the past, Rathcoole and its surrounding areas have a rich and varied history. The United Irishman Felix Rourke, a small farmer and former shoemaker who took part in Robert Emmet's 1803 rebellion, was born there. He was condemned to death at Green Street courthouse in September of 1803 for his part in the rebellion and hanged at Rathcoole.