Scoil Náisiunta an Mhóintigh (Sgoil na Móintigh) aka Mantua National School was established in 1822 on the western boundary of the Mantua Demesne. It was one of few primary schools to exist in Ireland before the state system of National Education was introduced in 1831. Albeit Mantua N.S. was not registered with the Commissioners of Education until the 6th of April 1840, the school enjoyed continuous history up until 2012.
In the 1930s, the schoolteacher Pádraig Ó Beirn encouraged his pupils to interview the elderly in their district to record local stories as part of the National Folklore Collection. You may find mention of an ancestor there!
In 2010 Mantua National School near Elphin in Co Roscommon was believed to be one of the smallest in the country, with just six pupils. The Roscommon Herald reported last that it was one of 41 primaries in the county with fewer than 50 children (Mantua being one of the 15 schools with fewer than 10 pupils).
Due to celebrate its bicentenary in 2022, but only 3 pupils remaining, this one-teacher school had no recourse but to close its doors ten years shy of that.
Mantua National School held its Last Day Celebration was held on Sat 11th August. The last day at the end of the school term with Carmel Quinn and her 3 pupils was recorded by local videographer Sean Browne. Mass was celebrated by Bishop Christy Jones and local priest Fr. John Joe Gannon. People came far and near to celebrate this historic occasion. The celebrations continued into the wee hours of the following morning.
The original 19th-century (one-story) school building still stands today as a farm outbuilding (just left of Mantua N.S). See here for Google Street View.
[Research by Rua]
Catholic Primary School Roll number: 02327S