Ballyheaphy National School closed its doors 50 years ago this year (1968-2018). The decision to close it in 1968 was as a result of years of neglect and it was eventually condemned in 1966.
By 1903 there were calls for the roof to be replaced. The idea of the government of the day doing anything to improve the school was out of the question. Local fundraising also presented difficulties.
In correspondence dating from 1906, the then parish priest of Ballyduff informed Commissioners that only one third of the children were from his parish (Ballyduff) and these people were too poor to donate; with reference to the Ballyporeen parish, which also supplied pupils to the school, the PP said these people were also 'too poor to subscribe'.
BALLYHEAPHY NATIONAL SCHOOL (1870 – 1968)
The history of Ballyheaphy National School (part of the Waterford School District) dates back to January 1870. It catered for boys and girls with both being educated separately under the same roof. The first principal was Mr. C. McCarthy. During the early days there was a considerable turnover in teachers.
Mr. McCarthy was followed by Kate Egan, James Egan, Mr. A. Hearn, Mr. Patrick Cotter, Michael Kearney, Mr. John Gallaghue and Mr. Godfrey Daly. Responsibility for these appointments was in the hands of Ballyduff Parish Priest, Rev. D. Power.
Heating the schoolhouse building was a constant problem, as was storing the fuel, timber and turf – these had to be kept in the classroom.