Last Friday, the children in 3rd Class visited Abbeyswell, near Lombardstown to learn more St. Gobnait, the saint that their school is named after. It was at Abbeyswell, that Gobnait had stopped on her travels when she saw nine white deer. Pat Crowley, a retired teacher from Scoil Ghobnatan (and former principal of Laharn NS) met the children in Abbeyswell and gave them the history of the well, including telling them about the famine mound there.
Afterwards the children visited Laharn Community & Heritage Centre where they were welcomed by the committee. They had their lunch there & afterwards played in the schoolyard. This school closed in 1996 due to declining numbers and is now open as a Community and Heritage Centre.
The Laharn Committee had a great welcome for all the children. Lisa Barrett, a local artist played the tin-whistle & flute. She played ‘Inisheer’, a fitting tribute to St. Gobnait, who was born on this island.
Scoil Ghobnatan would like to thank Pat Crowley and the Laharn Community & Heritage Committee for welcoming the children of Scoil Ghobnatan and making their day such a happy, fun & memorable one.
When the children returned from their trip, they wrote a little piece about their tip. These are a few accounts:
‘First we went on the bus and went to Abbeyswell and saw the well. It was so pretty. Mrs Crowley, a retired teacher, who was principal of Laharn N.S. (and used to teach in Scoil Ghobnatan when Laharn closed down) met us there and told us all about St. Gobnait. We learned all about the well & ‘paying the rounds’. We also learned about the famine mound in Abbeyswell. The legend says that a very tall lady used to carry all the dead people over her shoulder during the famine and threw them into one big grave.
Then we went back on the bus and the busdriver drove us to Laharn N.S. I was so excited. The school has one big room that had a ‘partition’; you could pull it to make two classrooms. The school closed in 1996. To heat the room they used to have two fires lighting. On the walls are pictures of sunsets, horses in fields & Laharn school. We ate our lunch there. We then played on the yard and had lots of fun. Lisa, a girl who used to go to the school played a tune on the tinwhistle & the flute. It was so nice. We then got on the bus and went back to school. It was a great day’ –By Emily Vaughan.
‘I had the best day of my life. I have gone on a trip on a bus. My class and I went to Abbeyswell and then to Laharn school. We listened to the history of Abbeyswell & St.Gobnait. In Abbeyswell there is a famine mound. During the famine times people were all buried together in one big hole. Mrs Crowley told us stories about St. Gobnait. We played in the school yard & listened to a girl playing music. It was the best day ever!’- By Kacper Woloszym.
‘Today in 3rd class we went to visit Abbeyswell near Lombardstown and Laharn school. We had a great day. We learned a lot about St. Gobnait and the history of Abbeyswell. Our school is named after this saint. We then went to Laharn school. It only had 2 classrooms in the whole school! We got to play in the yard. It was a very big yard. We had lots of fun. We then went back to school. Lots of people fell asleep on the bus. They were very tired after all the fun we had. I loved visiting Laharn school and learning what it was like to go to a country school long ago!’-By Amelia Tonoyan.
‘First of all I started with a good day. I went on a bus and I saw a horse. I went to a holy well & I enjoyed it. We went to Laharn school after. The classroom was so small. My friends and I were playing catch. I had a really good time. My favourite part of the day was playing with my friends. We were playing on the stones and on the grass. We like going on trips with our friends in school. It was Ms Murphy’s old school. She went there when she was little. When we were coming back, David, Domas and I fell asleep but it’s ok to fall asleep. I loved my day!’-by Jimmy O’ Brien.