Bishop Shanahan National School

The History of Bishop Shanahan National School

Bishop Shanahan National School (N.S.) is a Catholic co-educational primary school in the parish of St Jude the Apostle, Willington, catering for children from Junior Infants to Second Class.  It was opened as a Junior School on September 1st, 1979, with eight classes - four Junior and four Senior Infant streams.  The school evolved because the original Bishop Galvin National School, which opened in July, 1975, as a vertical school, had reached its full capacity.


A Principal, a Vice-principal and seven Assistants were appointed.  The first appointees were already on the staff of Bishop Galvin N.S.  The number of pupils increased annually until the school had 23 teachers on staff - the Principal, Vice-principal and 21 Assistants.  A six room semi-permanent building was added to the school and opened in January, 1987.


Bishop Shanahan N.S. and Bishop Galvin N.S. were the first co-educational schools in the area.


The Holy Ghost Fathers donated some of the land on which the school is built to the parish.  As a result, the school was named in honour of one of the most famous Holy Ghost Fathers – Bishop Joseph Shanahan – who was born in Glankeen, Co Tipperary, on 6 June 1871.  He joined the Holy Ghost Congregation and was ordained priest in 1898.  Fr Shanahan spent his life bringing education to the people of Nigeria.


The first Principal in Bishop Shanahan N.S. was Mrs Mary Burns.  The school continued to grow until at one point there were 719 pupils.  Mrs Burns retired in 1992 and was succeeded by Mrs Eileen Tunney, who remained Principal until November 2010. Mrs Tunney was succeeded by Mrs Ann Nolan who was principal until October 2021. Mrs Nolan’s successor is Ms Noreen Healy.


Bishop Shanahan N.S. now has 449 pupils with eighteen mainstream classroom teachers, six support teachers on the Special Education Team and fourteen Special Needs Assistants.


Bishop Shanahan N.S. has always been committed to providing the highest standard of education to our young pupils. We aim to provide a happy, inclusive and holistic experience as they set out on their educational journey.


A range of extra-curricular activities is provided in the school after school hours, e.g. Drama, Arts & Crafts, Irish dancing, Fitness classes, Music and Science.


Bishop Shanahan N.S. maintains strong community links and has always played an active part in the life of the parish of St. Jude the Apostle.


September 2022


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