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Tom Hosford Schoolmaster Skibbereen

Before the coming of ‘Free Secondary Education’, in the mid 1960s secondary education in Irish towns was patchy or non existent. Ireland’s prosperity of recent times can be attributed to that decision as the development of human capital.  In Skibbereen Catholics were provided for by a Girls Convent and to some extent by the De La Salle Brothers. In the 1991 booklet on the 100th anniversary of the Church of Ireland Church at Abbeystrewry there is a portrait by Trevor Royrcoft of Tom Hosford, who ran a secondary school for boys and girls of all religions in Skibbereen.  Thomas Hosford MA appears in Guy’s Directory of 1914 as having a Church Of Ireland, Intermediate and Collegiate School. In the census of 1901 and 1911 he is born either in 1874 or 1878 a member of a large farming family and he took his MA in Trinity College Dublin. It is clear from the article that many benefited from his selfless devotion to his pupils. A school, similar in some respects operated in Bantry in the 1940s 50s and early 60s. A similar one operated from the Model School in Dunmanway.