St. Killian’s College opened for students on January 6th 1952 and the initial enrolment was 46 pupils: 50% boys and the same for girls. There were four teachers in total. The school consisted of three classrooms and an office when it opened and was officially opened in February 1952 by the then Minister of Education, Mr Sean Moylan.
In the early years St. Killian’s provided a two year course leading to the Group Certificate (Vocational Schools did not provide Intermediate or Leaving Certificate until 1966). The school ethos then was to serve the rural community and preserve its traditional values while helping to strengthen its economy so that the countryside could support its people and reduce the “Flight from the Land”. Thus prominent among the subjects were those that could nurture and sustain this philosophy – Rural Science, Woodwork and Mechanical Drawing, Typewriting and Shorthand, Cookery and Needlework. Irish, English, Mathematics, Commerical Arithmetic, History, Geography and Religious Doctrine also featured.
There was no free transport at that time and most, including staff members came by bicycle. The then Principal, Mr. Sean O Regan spent much time travelling the neighbouring villages and countyside recruiting pupils for the new school and making people aware of its existance.
Much has changed since those early years at St. Killian’s but the same ethos and sense of community spirit remain high on our priorites.
In October 2001 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the school. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the school the Ogham stone (seen opposite) was designed and erected on the front lawn of the school. The name Ogham or Ogam was derived from the Celtic god of literature and eloquence. This writing is believed to have been devised by the Irish somewhere between the 1st and 3rd centuries A.D.
Ogham was a type of coding system used to translate the Latin language. Ancient examples are standing stones; the edge (droim or faobhar) of the stone forms a stemline against which individual characters are cut. Text is read beginning from the bottom left-hand side of the stone.
Our stone is modelled on these ancient examples and marks this territory as that of St. Killian’s. Reading from the base we see four horizontal strokes to the left of the stemline. They represent the letter C. The vowels I,E,A appear as shorter dashes or dots. The letters L and N are represented by two strokes and five strokes respectively to the right of the stemline.
|Address||New Inn, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway|