Church of Ireland Church and School,  Rooska, Bantry, West Cork built 1868 by Father of William Martin Murphy.  Closed 1988.




Licensed places of Worship and Glenlough and Rooska 1852-1866 these were in schoolhouses.  These were built by the Rev William Moore Crosthwaite around 1850.  Rooska church was closed in January 1988.


Some of the services and sermons at these places of worship were in Irish c. 1850, when the Rev. Crosthwaite preached; attended by thirty converts and several poor Protestants who would have to travel six to ten miles if they attended the Parish Church.  Rooska Church was built in 1868 to a design of William Atkins. The builder was William Murphy of Beara the father of William Martin Murphy

The church was reopened in 1894 and in an article reproduced in Francis Humphries’s book; there is a reference to the congregation comprising 65 of the farming class. The large proportion of men especially young men here as in other West Cork parishes was in contrast to the situation elsewhere.  The church underwent redecoration in 1962.   This Church was closed in January 1988.   Notice Celtic Cross on roof. Up to some years ago the church was used for music and dance classes.

Rooska School

The school is listed in 1817 as receiving no Parliamentary grant as no private donations. 1821 through Rev. Alcock 1824 £9 per annum from The Association for Discontinuing Vice. It was  associated with the Munster Bible Society and having 23 boys and 18 girls. There was an application by the Rev. Pratt for the school to be recognised as a National School in 1898.  The file in the National Archives sheds light on the old school which according to Rev. Pratt was built around 1822/1823.  Captain White gave a lease for ever over a free site whereabouts of lease unknown, the informant being the previous rector Rev. Alcock.  The school was inspected by the District Inspector Mr. R.W. Hughes on the 9th February 1898.  He reported the building in fair condition, one room, no privies, stone and mortar, slated and drew attention to some improvements needed.  The local schools were Gurtalasa, 1 mile 70 attending, manager, Rev. D. Foley P.P., Four Mile Water 3 miles, males 68 females 55,  Manager Rev. D. Foley P.P., Durrus 2.5 miles Manager Rev. Pratt 40 pupils.   Other schools shown on a plan were Bantry, Whiddy, Rosnacaharagh and Morreagh (Methodist Durrus).  Normally a school would have to be more than 3 miles from another school, but in this case the application was approved from the 1st January 1898, in the exceptional circumstances of the mountain range preventing children from attending.  It was stated that the teacher had been Mr. John Wolfe who had taught to great satisfaction for over 50 years but was now old and infirm.   He had two sons who were teachers, one, John C. Wolfe was to teach in the school from 1898.  He was 36, had trained at Marlborough Street in Dublin qualifying in 1881/2 and had previously taught at Rossharbour, Co. Fermanagh up to December 1897.  The school had been supported by the Island and Coast Society £20, The Church Education Society £7, The Diocesan Board £5 and the Manager £3. This support was to continue.  The roll was showed 12, females 6, on the day of inspection males 10 females 6.  The average attendance for the previous period was August 10.8, September 12.1, October 3.3 (measles), November 9.6, December 13.3, January 15.2.  The manager felt the numbers would continue to rise and that a number of Protestant orphans were expected.   Mr. Hughes, in accordance with regulations, had consulted with Canon O’Grady and the approval of this on the file is struck out and it is stated that he had written to the P.P. who did not reply but the Curate in Bantry had no objection.   Friction developed between Mr. John Wolfe and parents and he resigned in 1903, he was replaced by Mr. Pattison (Clashadoo) an uncertified teacher as a locum tenens.  His appointment was approved from The 4th May, 1903, he being uncertified in the exceptional circumstances as the manager Rev. Pratt was unable to secure a certified teacher.

Rooska Teachers

John Woulfe Snr. 1848-1897 (b.1823, married Elizabeth Cole, father weaver, servant of Durrus Glebe, 1849, his own father was a labourer)

John Woulfe Jnr, 1898-1903 George  Pattison 1903-

Miss C. Crighton (sister of Miss A. Crighton, The Schoolhouse, Clashadoo)