Mrs. Foley’s School and Mardyke Commercial School Skibbereen, 1862, J.P. Harte’s School, Dunmanway, 1940s.

The Dunmanway school had an assistant Mr.O’Keeffe from Limerick in 1940 and later Tom Reilly from Kealkil.   His father was from Kilgarvan having spent time in the USA.  The school provided education to Matriculation Standard.

Many country towns had small academies which struggled to provide some modicom of 2nd level education.

Before free education in the mid 1960s it was unusual for an Irish child to go to secondary education. The country had one of the worst records in the world in its cohort of countries.  At the same time vast sums were expended on the Arterial Drainage of marginal farmland with a huge Engineering workshop in Inchicore Dublin manufacturing customised machinery, somewhat like Stalin’s Russia devoured the State’s Capital Budget.

From that  Ireland or at least the Southern State has along with South Korea one of the highest rates of participation at 3rd level in the advanced world.