Schoolhouse ruins are a common sight in the Irish countryside, wherever populations are in decline and the fabric of what was once a vibrant community is slowly perishing. Within their collapsing walls, friends were made, and lessons were learned. Belief systems, traditions and moral codes were imprinted on young minds. These schoolhouses had a significant impact on generations of pupils, whether they still live nearby or have emigrated to faraway lands. However, little or no research has been undertaken into the social and cultural significance of these institutions. Only some are recorded in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, and they are afforded varying degrees of protection on architectural merit only. Once pivotal to their communities, they now lie abandoned.
Enda OFlahertys work as an archaeologist has brought him to the most isolated parts of Ireland, where he noticed and grew ever more intrigued by these ubiquitous features of the landscape. He began actively seeking them out, photographing over 240 in total, researching their histories and interviewing those who attended them. In exploring the buildings, he was also collecting a treasury of childhood memories. A former student from the now uninhabited island of Achill Beg recalled a teacher called Mr McNamara who was ahead of his time, using the building in the 1940s as a night school to teach adult islanders to read and write.
After setting up a blog to record his discoveries, the compelling material O'Flaherty had uncovered began appearing in national outlets such as The Irish Times and TheJournal.ie, as well as international publications like Lonely Planet and Atlas Obscura. More and more locals came forward to share their stories. Each empty building has a story to tell, and gathered in this thoughtful collection, they whisper a poignant narrative of a disappearing Ireland - of changing needs, desires and ways of life.
Written By: Enda O'Flaherty
Hardback: 256 pages
We will always strive to get your little piece of Ireland to you as soon as possible & in perfect order!
Irish Crafts will usually endeavour to dispatch goods within 1 working day of your order, we generally dispatch same working day where possible. If for some reason there is any delay to this we will contact you with updates & options.
If you need an item in a hurry please contact us for express courier rates before placing your order.
Delivery & Collection Services:
If living nearby you can opt to 'click & collect' picking up your order at our Doolin store. Eircode: V95 W9N2, Current Opening Hours are found here.
If your cart consists of small/light items suitable to be sent by envelope, for example, greeting cards, you may be offered an alternative 'Envelope Service' this is a standard post service, delivering in 1-2 days for up to 250gm and is provided by An Post.
Covid-19 Shipping Impact:
Spring 2022 has brought along a welcome recovery from Covid restrictions, however, there are global imbalances as to the pace of recovery and it will remain a changing landscape for some time yet. While we are continuing to fulfil online orders we advise you to expect delays and irregularities as to when & how shipments may be delivered at this time.
Customs & Duties outside the EU*:
If you reside outside the European Union (EU VAT Area) local taxes/duties are not included in your order total & are not the responsibility of the Irish Crafts.
The delivery agent may charge the recipient local duties, taxes and processing fees, should any apply, at the time of delivery. As we have no control over such taxes or charges, they are not calculated in your online total. You should contact your local customs office for more information.
*Brexit: Note from January 1st 2021 The UK is now considered to be outside the EU VAT area, with the exception of Northern Ireland.
Ukraine & Russia
Following growing unrest in the regions, from February 24th 2022, we will cease all deliveries to Ukraine & Russia until further notice.