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An Modh Scoil

This is the Small Claims Court in Cork. If you have a grievance about a product or service you can bring a case against the provider here for around 15 Euro.

In a past life it was also a primary school. I went to school here in the early 80’s when it was the Model School or “Modh Scoil” in Irish.
If you look carefully you may be able to see the inscription, “Cork District Model National School” over the door.
When it was a school the brickwork needed repair, the grounds were simple cement paths with green areas and the heating was open fires and boilers in several of the classrooms. Teachers had to pile on more coal to keep the fire going.
After the school closed down they couldn’t demolish the building because of it’s age so it was converted into a court.

I visited there last year with Jacinta and we were shown around by a friendly guard. I left my camera in it’s case. It was strange to see that the 6th class classroom was now a small courtroom, that huge rooms with high ceilings had been boxed off into offices, and that the boy’s toilets at the end of the building was now a holding cell for prisoners.

This is my first shot taken with the Sigma 10-20mm lens posted here. I didn’t need the wide angle because this is slightly cropped from the original.

Aperture ƒ/10
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/200s

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

4 replies on “An Modh Scoil”

I lived in the Model School from 1936 to 1948 when I left for the U.S. My mother was the school caretaker. I have many happy memories of the school and all my cronies. I drilled in the school play yards with the LDF during the war and some graffiti I carved in the walls of the handball alley still remains, although faintly. One of my school mates was the late Tommy Moroney, a talented athlete who played international soccer and rugby for Ireland : another was Mick Kenefick of St. Finbarrs who was the youngest captain of the winning Cork all-Ireland hurling team which won the title in 1943. I could go on forever………………

Is there any chance anyone would know when this building was originally built, and at what date it stopped being a school and became a courthouse? Thanks!!

Conor, you’ll find this PDF handy:

Cork District Model National School / Cork Model School/Modh Scoil Chorcaí, opened on 11
September 1865. The school was housed in a purpose built building at Angelsea Street, designed by
Board of Public Works architects James H. Owen (b1822 – d1891) and Enoch Trevor Owen (b
– d.1881). The building was separated into male, female and infants divisions, as well as housing a
maritime school. The School closed in 1990 and the building is now in use as the District Court.

Model Schools were teacher-training schools under the auspices of the Commissioners of the Board
of National Education, the administrative body of the national system, which was established in
1831. A central model school in Dublin was established in 1833/4. From 1845 onwards, 25 district
model schools were established, including Cork Model School. Each year a number of male and
female ‘pupil teachers’ were trained and housed at the school.

The model schools were managed by the local district inspector and their teachers were directly
appointed by the Board of National Education. The Royal Commission on Education (1868-1870)
deemed that the model schools were an overly expensive method of teacher training and their use
for this purpose ceased from about 1883 onwards, the model schools thereafter continuing to function as ordinary national schools. Following national independence in 1922, National
Education Board functions were taken over by the Department of Education.

The model schools admitted children of all denominations and social classes. However, in 1863,
Catholic Church leaders banned Catholic pupils from attending, because of dissatisfaction with the
religious instruction provided. Thus many model schools became Protestant in ethos, while in later
years a number of others, including Cork, became Irish language schools (scoileanna lán
ghaelige/gael scoileanna), teaching predominantly Catholic pupils. Notably, the registers and roll
books record the attendance of a small number of pupils of the Jewish faith, whose families arrived
in Cork, mainly in the 1890-1910 period. Past pupils at the school include former Lord Mayors
Gerald Goldberg and Peter Barry.

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