CLONMULT OLD SCHOOL (1864-1980)
Clonmult School opened its doors to pupils in 1864 for girls and in 1865 for boys. It would act as a centre of learning for the next one hundred and thirty six years.
During those years many interesting figures received their early education within the walls of this building. Among the pupils to pass through its doors were:-
John Dineen from Sept. 1873. He was elected to Dáil Eireann as a farmer’s candidate in 1922 and was re-elected to the 4th Dáil in 1923. He lost his seat at the 1927 general election.
Maurice Dineen (John’s son) from 1916 onwards. He was a regular competitor at the RDS Spring Show. In 1945, 1948 and 1950 he had overall show wins in the Shorthorn Class. This he repeated in 1962-1963 and again in 1975-1976.
Tom Fitzgibbon began his education in Clonmult School in 1880 and followed on to the Capuchin College in Rochestown where he was ordained Fr. Edwin Fitzgibbon. The Fitzgibbon Cup for hurling in 3rd level colleges was donated by him.
Jamesey Kelleher from 1883. He was later to make his name as a hurler and Point to Point rider. The trophy for Junior Hurling Champions of East Cork has been named in honour of this great sportsman. The local GAA field is also named in his honour – The Jamesey Kelleher Memorial Park.
Sean O’Leary from 1956. He played hurling for Cork at Minor, Under 21 and Senior level. He holds 1 Minor, 3 Under 21 and 4 Senior All Ireland Titles.
Mary O’Leary from 1959. She became a superb camogie player, winning four All Ireland Senior Titles with Cork from 1978 to 1983. She also won County Senior medals with Imokilly. She was the winner of Sports Star of the year in 1982.
Many who attended school in Clonmult went on to work in the Foreign Missions as priests, nuns and Christian brothers.
The march of time and modern progress brought about the closure of the school in 1980, following the construction of a new school in Dungourney to cater for children of both Clonmult and Dungourney.