In the year 1832, the Education Commission set about founding Model Schools in Dublin. Some of those schools were to be centres of training for teachers in national schools which were founded shortly previously.
In 1835, the Commission announced plans to found additional Model Schools throughout the country. They decided in 1846 that each of these schools would consist of an infant school, a girls’ school and a boys’ school. The first Model School was established in 1843 and, in time, 25 in all were founded.
A spokesperson for the Commission in 1846 described the Model School as “….a school which it is intended should provide a perfect specimen, as far as can be, of the education you mean to have in a particular country, established with the intention that there should be a good specimen in each district of a school suited to that district.”
(Taken from the account of Diarmuid Ó Seadaigh in the book “Modhscoil Luimnigh”)
Limerick Model School
The work of erecting our beautiful building began in 1853. The official opening took place in 1855. The school consisted of four schools at the time, an Infant School, the Girls’ School, the Boys’ School and the Mariners’ School. The Mariners’ School closed shortly afterwards due to lack of demand. In 1966, The Girls’ School and Infant School were amalgamated.
On Saturday, 3rd September 1977, the building was burned almost to the ground.
Incredibly, with the help of parents, Board of Management, teachers and the people of Limerick, the schools were in operation again within a week. Prefabs were in use until 1986. The original building was rebuilt and extended to include an additional 16 Classrooms and office accommodation for The Department of Education.
Michael Noonan, T.D. Minister for Trade and Industry reopened the Model School, in 1986, on behalf of the school patron, The Minister of Education.