St Brendan's National School opened on St Brendan's Road, Woodquay, in 1916. It was an all-male school which initially catered for boys from Woodquay, Sickeen, and Bohermore. After World War II it began to attract pupils from Shantalla and Newcastle. The school closed down in the 1960s with most of the boys transferring to St Patrick's. The school building was hidden behind a high wall, and it was later demolished. Part of the boundary wall is still visible at the back of the rather dull office block that replaced it.
Our photograph today shows the classes of 1956 along with their teachers Tom Keogh, who was the principal, Michael Morris, Mrs Lee, and Michael Muldoon.
In the front row are, left to right: Martin Grealish; John Cronin; John Joyce; B Grady; Ray Kelly; Paul Walsh; John Fallon; Pat Forde; Mike Diviney; Owen Walsh; J Francis; Pa O'Connell; Ger Merrigan; --- Beatty; Anthony Ward; Junior Walsh; Charles Davis.
Second row: John Forde; Liam Merrigan; --- Beatty; Noel Lenihan; Murt Monaghan; PJ Duggan; Jimmy Dooley; Tom Fahy; P Griffin; Pat Rooney; Frank Lally; Michael Guest; Martin O'Dowd; Joe Leonard; Lesley Burke.
Third row: Pat McDonough; Sean Morris; --- Reilly; Joe Walsh; Gabriel Darcy; --- O'Loughlin; Tom Keady; -------------; P Belton; Liam Tuohy; John Cosgrave; ----------------; 'Baby' Noone; Dave Cronin; Johnny Murphy; D Shaughnessy; Gay Murphy; Jimmy McGrath; --------------; Joe Merrigan; ------------.
Fourth row: K Quinn; -------------; Frank Gallagher; Tony Morris; Paddy Fahy; Paddy Walsh; Colm Conneely; Peter Folan; ----------; --- Cooley; Paul Cunningham; Nicholas Molloy; Padraic Hernon; J Griffin; Hugh Rooney; Sean Lenihan; George Philbin.
Fifth row: P Walsh; Tom O'Loughlin; Stephen Kelly; John Diviney; John Connell; Paddy Cronin; Martin Keady; Jim Fallon; Mike McGrath; Mike Forde; Mike Geary; --- Ellwood; Gay Cooley; Tommy Joyce; --------------; Willie Forde; Liam Forde; Martin Forde.
Sixth row: Mike McDonough; Mike Cooley; -----------; --- O'Neill; ---- Ellwood; Martin Folan; --- Geraghty; Terry Cunningham; Colie Scanlon; Padraic McGrath; Tom Killeen; Gerry Cronin; Padraic Killeen; -----------; Mike Cormer; John Conneely; Pete Fahy; Eamonn Quirke; --- Noone.
Seventh row: Tommy Folan; Thomas Griffin; Bernard Tierney; Stephen Griffin; George Guest; Larry Cooley; Tom McGrath; ----------; ---- Noone; ---- Lenihan; Murt McGrath; Cyril Hynes; John Darcy; Paddy Costelloe; --------------; --- Canney; Jim Philbin; Mike Grealish.
Maybe some ex-pupils might consider writing a brief history of this school before it fades from memory. Our thanks to Pa O'Connell for this photograph.