Threen NS – 150 Years – 1873-2023
Threen National School celebrated its 150th anniversary on Saturday 9th December. It first opened its doors in 1873. The school community marked this special milestone with a mass of celebration in St. Caolin’s Church, Trien. Fr. Kevin Reynolds presented the school with a jubilee candle in celebration of the 150 years of Threen NS and in memory of the many past pupils who have gone to their rest.
Music and song filled the church throughout the ceremony with the school children joining the church choir in a feast of religious and festive melodies. Martina Hawthorne provided the music and was accompanied by Marcella Bligh on guitar. Regina O’Shea, school secretary, lead the choir on the night and ensured the children were singing their hearts out.
Symbols were brought to the alter to represent the long history of the school throughout the years. They were brought by past pupils and current pupils. Patsy Finan and his granddaughter, Kayley (junior infants) brought a sod of turf to remember the many grandparents and great-grandparents who brought turf to school every day to keep the rooms warm. Oliver Finneran and his son Donal (second class) brought a football and a school jersey to represent the importance of sport and physical wellbeing in our lives. Threen NS has had a long history of sporting achievements over the years and several of our past-pupils are Intermediate Connaught Champions. Teresa Connaughton and her grandson Jamie Fitzpatrick (senior infants) brought the old registration book. This book records every child who was enrolled in the school since records were first kept in 1884 for girls and 1887 for boys. Jamie Fitzpatrick’s family boasts a long history in Threen NS. His mother, Roisín Connaughton, his grandparents, Martin Connaughton and Teresa Kelly, Cloonfelive, his great-grandparents Michael Connaughton and Kate Kelly, Cloonfelive, and his great great grandparents Dominic Connaughton and Ellen Finnegan, Cloonfelive, all having attended Threen NS.
Michael Harte and his daughter Aisling (fourth class) presented a framed school crest to represent everything that makes Threen NS a thriving school in 2023. The school crest symbolises the pupil’s love of learning, the school’s dedication to sport and physical and mental wellbeing, the creative skills in the arts and the school’s pride of place in Trien community. Michael Greene and his granddaughter Lauren Colleran (third class) presented a slate and an iPad. The slate was used by school children in the very early days of education and it was as instrumental in the children’s learning as the iPad is today.
The congregation were invited back to the school after mass to engage in an evening of reminiscence and nostalgia. A timeline from 1873 to 2023 was displayed in the community room. All the children who are currently enrolled in the school were plotted onto the timeline based on when their earliest ancestors were first enrolled in the school.
The Connaughton (Kelly) family from Cloonfelive and the Greene (Raftery) family from Trien are estimated to have enrolled in the early 1880s, before enrolments were formally recorded in the registration book. The Finan (Hester) Family, Clooncagh first enrolled in December 1890. This amazing delve into the family history in Threen NS has resulted in discovering that Jamie Fitzpatrick (Connaughton Kelly), Lauren and Daniel Colleran (Greene Raftery) and Ruth and Kayley Finan, who are attending school in 2023 are the fifth generation of their families to attend Threen NS.
The Finneran family, Thomastown, and the Harte Family, Clooncragh/Creggane, were first enrolled in the 1890s. Donal Finneran, Aaron and Aisling Harte and Rebecca Harte are the fourth generation of their families to attend the school.
After the turn of the century, the great-grandparents of John and James McLoughlin enrolled, James Leary (1904) and his wife Maggie Mannion (1920). Lauren and Aidan Gunning discovered that their great grandfather, John Gunning, Derreen, attended Threen NS from 1919. The Connelly’s from Cloonkeen, Daniel, Hannah and Oisín traced their family ties with Threen NS back to 1927 when their great grandfather, John Lyons, Threen, first enrolled.
Many of the current pupils have a more recent history with Threen NS. As was noted at the mass of celebration on Saturday evening, each and every child and family that has enrolled in Threen NS, forms part of its long and successful history.
In addition to the rich family history in Threen NS, the school also boasts annals of respected and cherished teachers.
Master Connor, 1880’s – 1926
Thomas Anthony Dyar 1927 – 1949
Tommie Lohan 1950 – 1955
Master Ryan 1955 – 1960
Brian O’Rourke 1960 – 1968
Maureen Flynn nee Raftery 1968 – 2009
Valerie Callaghan nee Farragher 2009 – 2018
Aine O’ Connor 2018
Mrs. Connor 1880’s – 1934
Margaret Kelly Snr 1880’s – 1934
Mrs. Delia Kelly 1928 – 1968
Sheila Kennedy 1968 – 1975
Kathleen Fanning 1975 – 1977
Valerie Farragher 1978 – 2009
Laura O’Beirne 2009 – 2023
Mary Collins 2023
Special Education Teacher
Olivia Blake 2010
Two esteemed guests on the night were retired principals Maureen Flynn and Valerie Callaghan. Valerie currently sits as Chairperson on the Board of Management and continues to loyally support the school staff and pupils. Maureen has a long history with the school having attended as a pupil and returning as a teacher and principal. Both Maureen and Valerie shared many wonderful memories of their time at school here in Threen with the pupils and staff they met and they thoroughly enjoyed the display of old photos and memorabilia. Martin Rafferty, the school caretaker also has a long association with the school having attended himself as a pupil. His parents and grandparents also attended Threen NS and more recently his two daughters.
Many class photos were on display dating from the 1930s up to the present day. Interviews with past pupils were put on display by the children in the senior room to capture what life was like in Threen NS through the ages.
Threen NS would like to extend sincere thanks to the staff, parents and members of the community who worked tirelessly to ensure our 150th year celebrations were a resounding success and a very enjoyable evening for all who attended. A special word of thanks to Fr. Kevin for a very special ceremony of thanksgiving and remembrance.