I recently came across this fascinating footage of the Official Opening of Scoil Mhuire, Ahalin (Achadh Lín) in 1963. The filming was done by local parishioner and filmmaking enthusiast John Joe Harrold. In recent weeks up to 45 short videos, many filmed in the early 1960’s, have been uploaded to You Tube and are now finally available for all to see. As you can see this short film is Episode 38 of this series, which is entitled Memories of the Past.
The “New School” in Ahalin was built on a site purchased from Mr. James Cantillon, commanding a fine view southwards towards Kilmeedy. The first intake of pupils took place in September 1963 when all existing pupils from the old school in Ahalin relocated to their new state of the art Primary School. The school was officially opened on 21st October 1963 and, as can be seen in the film clip, it was an occasion of great celebration for the parish of Knockaderry Clouncagh and for the School Manager, Rev. Canon Costelloe P.P.
Master Micheál de Búrca, who features prominently in the film clip, was the first Principal of the new school and he continued in this role until his retirement in 1970. He died in 1973 and is remembered by many for his commitment to the promotion of the Irish language and for his work in promoting Drama within the school and parish.
Sources: Knockaderry and Clouncagh Annual 1990 and jdtvideo and You Tube.