Powerstown National School is situated about two miles east of Clonmel, beside Powerstown Church. There is a long tradition of education in the area, dating back to records of a hedge school in the mid 19th Century. The school has expanded over the years to its current size, with 377 pupils and 18 permanent teachers. There are also a number of part-time teachers who visit to provide learning support to children with special educational needs.

The original school at Powerstown was a two-roomed building, which can still be seen today opposite the church. It is now a family home. It was built in 1853 under the Famine Relief Scheme. The school transferred to its current site in 1951. The two rooms were warmed by an open fire, replaced later by a pot bellied stove. As late as the mid 1980’s, children who attended the school collected coal from the shed to light the stoves in the mornings.

In 1986, the school was extended and the older part became the school hall. There were then five new purpose-built classrooms on site plus a general area for P.E. and assemblies. However, the school population quickly increased again and the hall had to become a classroom once more.

In 2001, the Department of Education provided funding for a temporary building to serve as a classroom as the number of students increased. Another pre-fabricated building was required in 2003 and another in 2005, 2006 and 2008. In 2010, using a once-off grant, a new classroom extension and special education room were added to the school. The final pre-fabricated building arrived in 2013 to serve as a classroom, leaving a total of six pre-fabs on site, serving as classrooms and special education facilities.

Funding for the replacement of pre-fabs was secured from the Department in 2013 and linked to a large scale project to convert the heating system from oil to gas and completely upgrade the heating within the school. The combined project was completed in August 2016 and six new classrooms were brought into use. However, there remains a deficit in accommodation for special education and two pre-fabs serve this purpose. The school also gained a teacher as a developing school and this class is housed in another pre-fab. So despite the building work to eliminate temporary accommodation from the site, three of the pre-fabs have had to be retained to provide for the school’s needs. It is hoped that these will no longer be needed when 2020 construction is complete.

The Board of Management had built up a sizeable “war chest” over years, some of which was the remnant of parish-based fund-raising in the past. With an additional loan of €100,000, it was decided to push ahead with the construction of a School Hall, without Department funding. The Parents’ Council undertook to service the loan. With parental contributions and community and business support, the loan is almost completely paid off and while some improvements remain to be carried out, the new school hall is a testament to community support.

In 2004, Oliver and Andrew McGrath, past pupils of the school, donated approximately an acre of their land to serve as a school field on a long term lease. Bulmers Ltd. squared off this piece with a donation of land from their orchard. Bulmers provided more land in 2008 and gave a further 0.5 acres to the school in 2014 to replace the land that would be put under building. The generosity of these neighbours has allowed the school to preserve its vision of providing adequate play space for the children.

No history of Powerstown School would be complete without mentioning two families. From 1929 to 1933, Ned O’ Connor was principal. His wife, Kathleen succeeded him until 1964. Michael Horan was then appointed principal for the next 29 years until he retired in 1993. His wife, Mary, took over the role of principal until she retired in 2004. This link is continued today as our school secretary, Fionnuala Roche, is a daughter of Michael and Mary Horan.


The records for the school are not complete as a number of important registers were destroyed in a fire and others have disappeared. The following records are the best we can provide, based on the sources available. Other reliable information would be gratefully accepted.


Principal Teachers

Name Year Appointed Year of Departure Purpose of Departure
Patrick Dalton 1892 1928 Retirement
Ned O’ Connor 1928 1932 Transfer to be principal of Lisronagh
Catherine O’ Connor 1932 1964 Retirement
Michael Horan 1964 1993 Retirement
Mary Horan 1993 2004 Retirement
Eugene Fogarty 2004 Current  

Assistant Teachers

Name Year Appointed Purpose of Appointment Year of Departure Purpose of Departure
Brigid Dalton 1894 1st Assistant 1936 Retirement
Helena O’ Brien 1936 Replace B. Dalton 1945 Not Recorded
Ann Hallissey 1945 Replace H. O’ Brien 1950 Not Recorded
Ann Tierney 1950 Replace A. Hallissey 1958 Not Recorded
Áine Lanigan 1958 Replace A. Tierney 1962 Transfer
Mary Waters 1962 Increase to 3 teachers in the school 1966 Not Recorded
Treasa Hussey 1962 Replace A. Lanigan 1963 Not Recorded
Mary Lynch 1963 Replace T. Hussey 1966 Not Recorded
May Collendar 1966 Replace M. Waters 1973 Transfer
Annie Keane 1966 Replace M. Lynch 1968 RIP
Mary Horan 1968 Replace A. Keane 2004 Retirement
Sheila Phelan 1973 Replace M. Collendar 1975 Transfer Principal Lisronagh
Ann Walsh 1975 Replace S. Phelan 1986 Not Recorded
Jill Duffy 1977 Increase to 4 teachers in the school 2008 Retirement
Kathleen Luttrell 1986 Replace A. Walsh Current  
Laois Power 1989 Increase to 5 teachers in the school 1992 Drop in Pupil Numbers with closure of Digital Factory. Loss of teaching post
Fergus Flynn 1993 Retirement Michael Horan Current  
Sean Bergin 1994 Increase to 5 teachers in the school 2019  Retirement
Caitriona Walsh 1994 Special Ed Post Increase to 6 teachers in the school Current  
Eileen Cunningham 1998 Increase to 7 teachers in the school 2001 Transfer
Carmel Clancy 1998 Replace F. Flynn Teacher Exchange 1999 1 Year Contract
Linda Ward 1999 Replace F. Flynn Teacher Exchange 2000 1 Year Contract
Deirdre Flanagan 2001 Replace E. Cunningham Current  
Olivia O’ Mahony 2002 Increase to 8 teachers in the school Current  
Cliodhna Breen 2002 Increase to 9 teachers in the school with

Admin. Principal

2013 Transfer

Principal Bansha / Now Killenaule

Eimear O’ Dea 2003 Increase to 10 teachers in the school 2008 Transfer
Jacinta Moloney Temporary 2005

Permanent 2006

Cover C. Breen

Special Ed Post Increase to 11 teachers in the school

Diarmuid Burke 2006 Increase to 12 teachers in the school Current  
Emma O’ Callaghan Temporary 2006

Permanent 2008

Cover C. Breen

Replace E. O’ Dea

Aileen Nugent Temporary 2007

Permanent 2008

Cover F. Flynn

Replace J. Duffy

Evelyn O’ Dwyer Temporary 2008

Permanent 2008

Cover C. Breen

Increase to 13 teachers in the school

Eoin Morrissey Temporary 2008 Cover C. Breen 2009 Transfer Principal Golden / Now St. Mary’s, Irishtown
Niamh Coffey Temporary 2009 Cover C. Breen 2012 Transfer
Pauric Stapleton Temporary 2010 Cover A. Nugent 2011 Transfer
Mairead Wall 2010 Increase to 14 teachers in the school Current  
Paula St. John Part Time 2010


Special Ed Post

Maternity Cover

2012 Transfer
Emma Dunlea 2010 Maternity Cover 2010 Transfer
Bernard O’ Connell 2012 Special Ed Post

Increase to 15 teachers in the school

2014 Transfer Principal Ballyporeen
Margaret Ryan 2012


Cover C. Breen

Cover E. O’ Callaghan

2014 Transfer
Rachel Stapleton 2013 Increase to 16 teachers in the school Current  
Eimear Howley 2013 Replace C. Breen Current  
Sarah Burke 2014 Replace B. O’ Connell Current  
Louise Lalor 2015 Maternity Cover 2015 Transfer
Grace Hogan 2015 Maternity Cover 2015 Transfer
Siobhan Dempsey 2015 Increase to 17 teachers in the school Current  
Helen Browne 2016 Maternity Cover 2017 Contract Ended
Sighle O’ Doherty 2016 Maternity Cover 2017 Contract Ended
William Hewitt


Temporary 2016 Increase to 18 teachers in the school 2017 Contract Ended
Cherry Hally 2017 Permanent Position replaced Temporary Position Current


 William Hewitt 2017 Revised SEN Model.

Increase to 19 teachers

Aileen Wall 2018 & 2019 Maternity Cover Current  
Laura Grace 2019 Maternity Cover Current  
Rebecca Reardon Feb. 2018 Sub cover Long Term Illness Oct 2019 Contract Ended

Special Needs Assistants

Name Year Appointed Purpose of Appointment Year of Departure
Jenna McLean 2006 Support of Special Needs Pupils Current
Michelle Everard 2008



Support of Special Needs Pupils

Maternity Cover




Jenny Hayes 2010 Maternity Cover 2010
Grainne Drohan 2017 Support of Special Needs Pupils Current
Angela Peters 2019 Support of Special Needs Pupils Current


Name Year Appointed Purpose of Appointment Year of Departure
Fionnuala Roche 2000 Secretarial & Administration Current

Cleaners / Caretakers

Name Year Appointed Purpose of Appointment Year of Departure
Michael Keogh 2003 Cleaner / Caretaker 2012
Angela Hannigan 2011 Cleaner Current
Pat Slattery 2013 Caretaker Current
Margaret Browne 2018 Cleaner 2018
Oxana Suruianu 2018 Cleaner Current