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School History

Stair na Scoile


Stair Scoil Naomh Colmáin


Over 100 years of growth and change lie in the shadows of St. Colman’s N.S., Clara as we know it today.  The first school in Clara – “Church Clara N.S” was established in 1850 and stood across the road from where we are today.  The first building on the present site, was built and occupied by 1910 with two teachers.  

The years 1968/1969 were historic ones for education in Clara Parish. Castlewarren, Revanagh and Dunbell – all previously independent of one another, ceased to exist as separate entities. All three schools closed their door, marking the end of great eras for the areas concerned and amalgamated with Clara school as St. Colman’s N.S.

The year 1963 marked the demolition of Clara School as it had been since 1910 and the building of a new school which had three classrooms, a cloakroom and toilets. This was to cater for the increased numbers attending the school. This building is still very much alive today and is used as our P.E./Assembly Hall. Numbers continued to increase in St. Colman’s N.S. due to the amalgamation.


The school building expanded further in 1971 with the building of two new classrooms – remembered by all as the red-brick building. With numbers growing steadily from 1997-98, the Board of Management, under the enthusiastic leadership of  Fr. Jim Murphy and guidance of  school’s inspector Mr. Proinsias Ó Donnchadha, applied for a new extension in 2000. To the delight of the whole school community the school was approved for €1.4m extension. In September 2003, the new extension which combined the two existing  buildings opened. 


Our ‘new school’ now consisted of 6 classrooms of 80 sq. metres incorporating boys and girls toilets, a library, two learning support rooms, staffroom and a 105sq. metre hall. The ‘new school’ was officially opened on Thursday, May 27th 2004.

The library was adapted into a classroom after just one year. In 2008, under chairman Mr. Proinsias Ó Donnchadha (former school’s inspector) the Board of Management applied for another extension.

The Department of Education and Skills approved a grant of €120,000 for the provision of an 80sq.metre prefabricated classroom. With the unwavering support of the Parents’ Association, the Board of Management decided to build a permanent classroom instead. This showcase room opened its doors for the first time on the 31st August 2009.

An application for another new classroom was lodged by the Board of Management, under chairperson, Andrew O’Carroll in 2016.


In March 2018 the Department of Education and Skills approved a grant of €193,000 for the provision of this mainstream class and WC for assisted users. This new classroom opened in November 2020, providing the school community with 8 mainstream classrooms of 80 sq. metres or bigger.

The school decided to open an ASD Unit for September 2020 in a 47 sq metre room on a temporary basis.

On June 1st 2020 the Board of Management, under chairperson, Pat Treacy applied for the provision of a permanent 1 Classroom SEN base. This was approved by the Department of Education and Skills in 10 days and is currently at design stage.

On September 1st 2020 the school had 223 pupils, 12 teachers, 2 SNA’s, a Secretary, Caretaker and Cleaner

Clara NS in 1971


Aerial View of Clara NS in 1990

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Aerial View of Clara NS in 2014

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Clara NS today

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