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The History of Faha National School

The beginning of the National School System of Education took root in Faha in 1834 when, in that year, a schoolhouse was built at Faha Cross. The one room building was 56 feet long, 15 feet broad and 12 feet in height. Mrs Raymond, a local land owner, financed it for the purpose of educating the boys of the parish.  Later in 1849 an extension was added for the girls. The first principal was Mr. Sylvester O’Shea, to be replaced later by Mr. Michael McGillycuddy.

The steady increase in enrolments in the old school house prior to April 1879, resulted in a letter reaching the offices of the Commissioners of Education, stating the need for a a new school at Faha. The construction of what is now the local Community Centre, which consisted of two large rooms, was completed by October 1880. Teaching commenced there on July 1st 1881 under the principalship of Mr. John McGillycuddy in the male side and Mrs. Sarah O’Dowd in the female school. Records show that the boys’ school had three assistants (which included 1 monitor) and the girls’ school had two.

In 1896, Richard McCarthy became principal of the boys’ school. He was succeeded in 1918 by Mr. Seán Moriarty who in turn in 1952 was succeeded by Eugene Moriarty. In 1939, during Seán Moriarty’s term as principal, major renovations were undertaken which divided the classrooms in two. 1939 therefore marked the beginning of mixed education at Faha. Prior to this amalgamation Mrs. Dennehy was principal of the girls’ school from 1920. 

Mr. Donal O’Donoghue was principal from 1958 to 1994. The Department of Education’s policy of amalgamating small rural schools in the 1960’s witnessed Faha encompassing two new catchment areas – Kilbonane and Rockfield. In 1967 Kilbonane was amalgamated with Faha and Mrs. Kathleen Fleming joined the staff. In 1968 Rockfield, led by Mr. Mortimer Moriarty and Ms. Catherine Brick, joined with Faha, now making it a six-teacher school. Two prefabs were placed to the rear of the old school site to facilitate the sudden upsurge in numbers. 

Teaching continued in this building, which was designed more than a century ago, until 1995. When, under the principalship of Mr. Pat Foley (1994 -2010) a long awaited modern building, fit to educate into another century was built. A further addition was added in 2009.

In 2010 Mr. Foley was succeeded by Mr. Jerry FitzGerald. Numbers in the school increased steadily and significantly, leading to a further extension being completed in January of 2016. This resulted in a staff of 12 teachers, 3 SNA’s and a Part-time secretary, with 188 registered in September 2016.

Another extension in 2018 further added to the and included a state of the art astroturf sports ground. In September 2020 Faha N.S. comprised of 201 pupils and 18 staff: 12 teachers, 4 SNAs, a secretary and a caretaker.