Lecture on school rift that split community


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Lecture on school rift that split community Lecture on school rift that split community

Historian and author Joe Queally, whose book, The Fanore School Case: 1914-1922, shone a light on an extraordinary controversy in Irish education, will be in Thoor Ballylee on Friday, April 19.

He will discuss this distressing episode that divided a rural North Clare community, and one in which the then Bishop of Galway, Thomas O’Dea, was a key player.

The story began with the manager of Fanore School, Fr Patrick Keran from Peterswell, sacked the school principal, Michael O’Shea of Kenmare, allegedly because of O’Shea’s refusal to marry the assistant teacher in the school, Delia Leonard of Kilbeacanty, as Keran had instructed him to do.

His union, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) fought to have him reinstated. However, Church and State were steadfast in their opposition to this, with Bishop O’Dea central to the dispute, because while it’s in Clare, Fanore is part of the Galway Diocese.  The row over O’Shea’s sacking left a mark in the local area for many years.

Next Friday’s talk, hosted by the Thoor Ballylee Society, will include a 28-minute documentary, from RTÉ’s Scannal series, about the episode. There will also be live music on accordion and fiddle from young All-Ireland medal winners Eimear Clancy from Tubber and Jack Dilleen of Doora-Barefield.

Admission is €10 and tickets can be purchased on There will be tea and cake, as well as a free raffle. All are welcome to enjoy the event in the beautiful surrounds of William Butler Yeats’ former home.

For more information, email


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