History of our School
Knocknasna National School (sometimes called Scoil Naomh Padraig) is located roughly 3 miles north of Abbeyfeale and can be accessed by the Kilmorna
Listowel Road or from the Abbeyfeale Cratloe Road. The original school was built in 1894. It consisted of two large rooms. The boys school was in one
section and the girls was in the second part. Each school had its’ own principal and assistant teacher. The first Principal of the boy’s school was
Denis Fitzgibbon. After Denis, Paud McCarthy was appointed. Paud came from Caher. He lived in the main street in Abbeyfeale. His son Eddie was later
Principal of the Boys Junior National School in Abbeyfeale. Davy O’Connor, better known as Davy the Master, replaced Paud. Davy came from Meenkilly
and married a local girl Daisy Fitzgerald. They lived adjacent to the school. He retired to Tower in the County Cork. The assistant teacher at the
time was Mrs Nora O’Connor (Nora McCarthy). Nora was a sister of Paud McCarthy and married a local farmer. They lived in Rahoran. When Liam O’Callaghan
was appointed principal, Miss Noreen Flynn from Convent Street was assistant teacher.
The first principal of the Girls’ School was Nora Hanley who was married to Thomas D. O’Connor, a butcher and a brother of W.D. O’Connor. Next
principal was Julia Fitzgibbon, a daughter of Denis Fitzgibbon. She was married to the chemist Humphrey O’Donoghue. They lived in West Street,
Abbeyfeale. Julia was an aunt of John Fitzgibbon who later became Principal of Dromtrasna. Her assistant was Mrs Leahy. Mrs Leahy was originally
from Meenkilly and she had two brothers, Tom and Pat, both of whom were teachers – Tom was in Meenkilly and Pat taught in Dromtrasna. Mrs Leahy
lived near Gorteen Bridge and was married to a local farmer, Mr Johnny Leahy. When Julia Fitzgibbon retired Mrs Leahy became Principal.
A short time later the school was amalgamated and Davy the Master became principal of the
whole school. The staff consisted then of David O’Connor (Principal), Mrs Leahy (privileged assistant) and Mrs Nora O’Connor (second assistant). The
school for the first time became a mixed school. When Mrs Leahy retired, Miss Bridie Harnett was appointed. Bridie’s family came from Purt. Later
the numbers in the school increased and the school became a four teacher school and again a Boys’ and Girls’ school.
The principal of the Girls’ school was Bridie Harnett and her assistant was Mary Joe Flynn. The principal of the Boys’ school was Liam O’Callaghan
and the assistant was Miss Noreen Flynn.
In 1966 the new school was built on land owned by Tom Murphy and was adjacent to the site of the old school. The old school was later demolished and
all that remains today is the boundry wall. A substantial donation was made by Sean Harnett, a past pupil from Lower Purt, towards the building of
the new school.
The school again became a mixed school but the staff remained the same. In 1979 Pat O’Callaghan was appointed Principal. Caroline Griffin was appointed
to replace Miss Noreen Flynn when she retired. In 2007 Miss Dolores Keane from Knocknagoshel replaced Miss Caroline Griffin. In 2014 Billy Quirke was appointed as Principal following the retirement of Pat O’Callaghan.