Kilmacow past brought back to life in new book

Kathleen Doody, Ann O Neill, Helen Phelan, Alice Gaule Ayres, Joan Gaule Heary, Phylis Cooke, all past pupils of the old Presentation  with Jimmie Cooke, author at the launch of his book in Kilmacow.
A wonderful new book, Kilmacow Folklore 2 gives the collected folklore from two schools in Kilmacow as part of the Schools’ Folklore Collection organised by the Department of Education for the newly formed Irish Folklore Commision in 1937-1939.

A wonderful new book, Kilmacow Folklore 2 gives the collected folklore from two schools in Kilmacow as part of the Schools’ Folklore Collection organised by the Department of Education for the newly formed Irish Folklore Commision in 1937-1939.

Edited by retired teacher and Kilmacow native, Jimmie Cooke, this excellent publication was launched recently in the Parish Hall, Kilmacow, on by Tom Whyte who also contributed to the publication.

Many past pupils from the two schools involved in the Schools’ Folklore Collection 1937-39 were present and told their memories of Mr. Richard Rellis, principal, Strangsmills NS and of Sr. Calasanctius (Lennon) of the Presentation Convent NS. Paddy Costello remembered Mr Rellis as a very religious man and a great teacher. Ms May Merry (now Mrs. May Maher) who taught in Strangsmills school added that he had a wickedly funny sense of humour, especially on April Fools’ Day.

Sr. Calansanctius was remembered as a great teacher who put on many girls for teacher-training exams and entry tests to get into the Civil Service but she taught music too, to a very high level of the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) exams. There are many photographs of the teachers and former classes of pupils from both schools. The book is available at €10 each from the schools, local shops in Kilmacow, and from the bookshops in Waterford and Kilkenny.

It also contains five memoirs of living folklore about growing up in Kilmacow from the 1930s up to the 1970s by five past pupils: Tom Whyte (Dublin), Senan Walsh (Waterford), Brother Peter Phelan (North Borneo), Jimmie Cooke (Dublin) and Harry Knox .