History of Rathbeggan National School

In 1960, Rathbeggan school, under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Meath, opened its doors for the first time, with approximately 50 pupils in attendance.  Numbers increased gradually over subsequent years and by 1964 an additional pre-fabricated building was required. One of the school’s most outstanding features is the fine sports field located to the rear of the school which was acquired by parents with great foresight in the 1970’s.By 1972 a third classroom had been added to the original structure and in 1979 a second prefab was required.

In 1981 work began on extensive renovations and extensions to the existing building as the average attendance by then had risen to almost 150. A PE hall, three large classrooms, a special needs room, a staffroom, office and extra toilets were added. Work on this section of the school was completed in October 1982. Rathbeggan National School, also known locally as The Bush, celebrated its 50th birthday in 2010 with a memorable visit from the then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese.

Mr. Boland was the first principal, succeeded by Mr. Brendan Bric, Mr. Michael O’Carroll and Mrs. Miriam Toole. Mrs. Toole was a teaching principal of the school from 1982 to December 2002 when she retired. Mrs. Toole was succeeded by Mr. Kieran Rushe who took up the post in January 2003 and retired in 2017 along side the deputy principal Ms. Mary Devine. Ms Devine was the longest serving teacher in the school having joined in 1985. Currently there are 205 children enrolled in the school. Ms. Devine’s unique contribution to the promotion of sports and physical exercise in the school was amply demonstrated when she was the proud recipient of a Hero Teacher award on the RTE programme Operation Transformation. Ms. Devine received her award live on RTE’s John Murray radio show from the presenter Kathryn Thomas in January 2013. Mr. Rushe made a unique contribution to the school and is remembered by the children for his fascinating story-telling and love of drama and soccer. 

Rathbeggan has achieved great success in sport down through the years perhaps most notably during the school year 2004 – 2005 when the boys and girls teams won the Division 3 Cumann na mBunscol Football finals. The boys also won their Hurling final that year and were crowned All Ireland champions in the FAI schools 5 a-side soccer finals.  In addition to Gaelic Games, a wide variety of sporting activities is encouraged and promoted including basketball, zumba, soccer, swimming, running, golf, tag rugby and yoga.  

The school promotes a strong focus on educational and sporting initiatives.  In 2012, Rathbeggan delighted in the achievement of Diarmuid MacMurchadha, a sixth class pupil, who won the Meath Eason Spelling Bee Competition.  Students participate in the RDS Primary Science Fair and indeed Science Week activities in our school.   In 2013, for the first time ever, Rathbeggan was represented at the All Ireland Credit Union Schools Quiz, held at the RDS, Dublin. 

September 2013 marked another milestone in the history of the school when a new two storey two classroom extension was completed. 

In 2014, the school was awarded its first environmental green flag under the Green School initiative.  In September, the school completed a Sensory Garden, a wonderful addition to the school, which was developed through many hours of hard work by students, teachers and parents.  This garden offers an oasis of calm for students where they can be immersed into the scents, textures and colours of the plants and related elements. 

The school is currently in the early stages of adding temporary accommodation to facilitate three additional rooms. It is anticipated that the new rooms will open in January 2018. 

Rathbeggan N.S. is proud of its history and achievements. We are very grateful to all the parents/guardians who have contributed to the history of our school by choosing to send their children to us and we look forward to serving the needs of our school community for many years to come.

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