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Four Masters National School, Kinlough, Co. Leitrim


School General History
The first national school in Kinlough was opened on 30 December 1847. Edenville National School (Roll No. 5212) got its name from the townland in which it was situated. The first school had a thatched roof and mud floors. In 1866 it was replaced by a  better building with a slated roof. The single-roomed school had 2 teachers and up to 100 pupils on roll, though, since school attendance was not compulsory in those days, daily attendance was only 40 - 50. The old school, with its outdoor toilets, turf  fires and muddy yard, served the village for 74 years.
In 1940 a new two-room school was built and named the Four Masters School. With a classroom for each of the 2 teachers, cloakrooms and a hard-surface playground. The new school (roll no. 17143) was a great improvement and continued in operation  until 1985 when it was replaced by our current school. It initially had four classrooms, gym, kitchen, office, stores and football/basketball areas - a far cry indeed from the first Kinlough school. It was extended in 1998 to facilitate the amalgamation  of Ahanlish and Tullaghan. One new classroom and a remedial room was added. In 2005, our old gym was transformed into a classroom, we got a new gym and an additional classroom, staff room, library and stores. In 2007, we got two more classrooms and a resource room built.

School Name History
The school is named after the Four Masters, famous Irish historians of the early 17 century. Founder of the Four Masters was Michael O'Clery, a Franciscan Brother attached to the abbey in Donegal Town. In 1627 Michael was sent to Ireland from St.  Anthony's College in Louvain to collect material for a book on the Lives of Irish Saints. During his travels around the country it became clear to him that another important task needed to be done - the gathering together into one authoritative work of  all the historical information scattered throughout the country.
By 1632 Michael had assembled a team of three helpers - his cousin Peregrine O'Clery from Donegal, Peregrine O'Duigenan from Leitrim and Fearfeasa O'Mulconry from Roscommon. This was the team that would later be known as the "Four Masters". For  three years the team scoured Ireland, taking notes from all the old history books.
When they were ready to write their history a problem arose. They had intended doing this work at the abbey in Donegal, but there was much trouble in the area, and the team had to choose a safer location. They moved twenty miles south, into the  territory of the Mac Clancys of Dartry. Here, on the banks of the River Drowes, they began writing in August 1635.
They wrote two complete sets of a history of Ireland from the earliest times to 1616. They called their history "The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland". One copy went to the Franciscan College in Louvain, the other to Fergal O'Gara of Sligo who had  provided the finance for the project. Two hundred years later, the great Irish scholar, John O'Donovan, in collaboration with Eugene O'Curry, translated the Annals from the old Irish into English. The translation was published in 1854.
Since then the Annals have been an invaluable reference for Irish historians, and have become widely known as "The Annals of the Four Masters". Because of its location close to the river Drowes, our school was named "Four Masters School" in honour  of these notable men.