St. Patricks Hall

St. Patrick’s Hall, Old National School


St. Patrick’s Hall was originally built as Dunshaughlin National School in 1887 and remained in use as a primary school until replaced by a new school in 1954. The 1887 building replaced an older school at the entrance to Johnstown Lane, probably in the grounds of the present church car park. A schools’ Inspector described this older school as consisting of ‘unsafe and tumble down cabins’ in 1886.


The new school contained two rooms with boys and girls in separate rooms and each room was partitioned to cater for Junior and Senior pupils. William Murphy donated the land for this school and a 900-year lease was drawn up in 1884. The Commissioners of National Education gave a grant of £300 to construct the new building, which was due to cost £450, with the local community making up the difference. The building was designed to accommodate 170 pupils and the children moved in on 2nd September 1887.


Patrick Murphy, a native of Waterford was the principal of the Boys’ School. Margaret Hanway was the Principal of the Girls’ school for a time but Mrs. Anne Murphy took up the position in 1889. She was probably Patrick’s wife.


There were separate entrances for boys and girls. The Boys’ School was nearer the main street and boys entered the front porch, via the door facing the main road, the current entrance. The girls entered at the other side of the porch and the large front door now facing St. Seachnall’s NS was not used. Inside a partition divided the building in two.


During the 1930s the building was extended with the area that now houses the stage and meeting room added on.


Gerry Smith was appointed Principal of the Boys’ School in 1932 and when the two schools amalgamated in 1941 he became Principal of the mixed school.


By the 1950s the school needed refurbishment but it was decided to build a new school instead. WJ Murphy of Ivy House, Dunshaughlin donated the ground and the new school was officially opened on 2nd December 1954 by Laurence Murray, Secretary to the Minister for Education and blessed by the Bishop of Meath Dr. Kyne. The pupils moved in on 19th January 1955.


The building is now used as a Community Hall.