In 1917, at a Co. Donegal Joint Technical Instruction Committee meeting, a resolution was passed that a technical school ‘on the lines of Ballyshannon and Letterkenny be established in Carndonagh to supply the wants of the rural district of Inishowen, which, owing to its geographical position, is shut out from getting any benefit from the schools in the county.’
The Department of Education, however, did not look favourably on this proposal and suggested that the staff of Letterkenny and Ballyshannon could be transferred to Carndonagh after the Easter term each year to give classes to the pupils there for a short session before the summer vacation.
Needless to say the Carndonagh committee were astonished at this suggestion and told the Department this would be an absurd arrangement.
A battle ensued with officials from the Department with the Carndonagh committee winning out. A grant of £250 was awarded. Buncrana did not have suitable premises so Carndonagh was awarded the Technical School to be set up in the newly built Colgan Hall. Cost of equipment for the school was covered by the Congested Districts Board.
Mr. Martin Griffin, a commercial instructor at Armach Technical School, was appointed Principal. Mr. George Clingan was appointed as the first caretaker of the school.
The school opened for business in October, 1918. Mr Griffin remained Principal until 1925. He was succeeded by James Mc Donough. The ‘Tech’ remained in the Colgan Hall until 19159 when a new building was opened.
By Letitia Doherty
source: Buchanan, S. (Ed.) County Donegal Vocational Education Committee 1905-2005. Reflecting, Celebrating, Shaping the Future. (Letterkenny: Donegal VEC, pp.35-37)
Domestic Science Class, 1907Group photo of the Domestic Science class of 1907. Classes were held in Crampsies (Tailors) and afterwards in Brodbins (Donagh Stores).
Front L-R: Jean Watson, Mary Anne Galbraith, Cassie Doherty (Cornelius), Annie Doherty (Neddy).
Second Row: Mary Doherty (Barney), Mary Lynch, Maggie Doherty (Tailor), Cassie McGonigle, Tissie Gubbins, Bella Walsh.
Third Row: Mary Doherty (The Plant), Unkown, Mary Anne Lynch, Cassie Doherty (The Coiner), Miss Haughton, Mary Cole, Magie Callaghern (Dorby), Mary Doherty (Tailor).
Back: Unknown, Mrs. McElwee.
Domestic Science Class Certificate, 1907A Domestic Science Class Certficate awarded to Annie Callaghan, signed by the teacher M. Haughton in 1907. It certifies that Annie received instructions in 'Plain Cooking and Housewifery'.
Ad for Courses Available in the Technical School, 1919-1920The 'prospectus' for the 1919-1920 session of the Carndonagh Technical School.
Courses on offer included:
Introductory Courses (English, Arithmetic, Mathematics, Drawing, Manual Instruction, Cookery, Needle Work, Experimental Science);
Building Trades: Building Construction, Carpentry and Joinery, Practical Mathematics, Woodcarving, Drawing, Mechanics);
Commercial (Book-keeping, Arithmetic, Shorthand, Typewriting, Commercial Correspondence, Business Methods, Accountancy, Economics Theory and Practice of Commerce, Economic History, Economic Geography, Irish, French, Pure Mathematics);
Domestic Economy Course: Cookery and Housewifery, Dressmaking and Needle Work, Laundry, First Aid and Home Nursing, Science applied to Home Life).
Mr. Griffin, the first Principal of Carndonagh TechMartin Griffin, who became the first Principal of the Cardonagh Technical School in 1918 and also became the first Principal of the Buncrana Technical School from 1925 until 1940.
James McDonoughJames Mc Donough, principal of the Carndonagh Technical School.
Annie Doherty (Dinny)Miss Annie O'Doherty (Dinny), one of the first teachers in the Techical School.
Miss McVeighMiss Mc Veigh, teacher, Carndonagh Technical School.
A Class PicnicMrs. Barnett and Class enjoying a picnic at the Creamery in Tulnaree, 1921.
Front Row: Kathleen Doherty (Billy), Monica Mc Laughlin (Philip), Betty Barnett, Mary Clingan, Tom O'Beirne, wee Martin, Vincie Mc Laughlin (Philip), Paul O'Beirne, Mary Marner, Lily Doherty (Billy), Maureen O'Beirne.
Centre: Josie Mc Laughlin (Philip), Mary Doherty (Arthur), Kathleen Ward, Cnnie Clingan, Mary Mc Laughlin (Philip), Mary Callaghan, Cassie Brodbin, Mary Jo Doherty (Mick), Rosie O'Connor with Sheila Barnett, Aggie Branigan, Annie Doherty (Knocker).
Back Row: Mrs. Barnett and Paddy, Miss Mc Kinney, Neal Gibbons, Celia Keeney, Meta Mc Laughlin (Mathas), Maggie Callaghan (Derby), Celia Gibbons, Rose Doherty (Billy), Mamie Gibbons, Dolly Mc Laughlin (Mathas), Mary Keeney.
Case of Carndonagh Domestic Economy Instructress, Derry Journal, 1926An article from the Derry Journal in 1926 on the case of the "Carndonagh Domestic Economy Instructress" Miss Eithna O'Doherty.
Described as 'a pioneer of technical education in the county', Miss O'Doherty's employment was terminated after six years as she had not achieved the required certificate in Irish.
The best efforts by various councillors could not overturn the decision of the Vocational Committee.
Technical Students at the Colgan HallFront Row: Teresa Doherty (Mick), Mary Josephine Monigle, Minnie Doherty (Painter), Rose Monigle, Aggie Butler, Annie McGeoghan, Dolly Doherty (Oregon), Eileen Henderson, Kathleen Doherty (Saddler), Lizzie Harkin (Malin Town), Annie Canny.
Second Row: Joe Mc Loughlin (Liss), Rosetta Mc Gonigle, Sarah Mc Cook, Mary Callaghan, Lizzie Mc Cole, Dorothy Campbell, Sarah Smyth (Ballyloskey), Sally Mc Laughlin, Peter Eoine Brien, Benny Doherty (Billy);
Third Row: Jim Harkin, Rose Callaghan, Miss Lohan (Teacher), Pearl Monigle;
Back: John Doherty (Pat), Fanny Lafferty, Annie Simpson, Rose Doherty (Jack), Mary Mc Callion, Teresa Doherty (Mullier), Mary McLaughlin (Phil), Mary McCauley, Ellen Mc Laughlin (Owen).
Technical Students at Colgan HallInclued in this group: Principal, Mr. James Mc Donough, Miss Annie O'Dioherty (Domestic Science), Miss Doherty (Commercial Teacher), Marjory Doherty (Fintan), Mary Mc Laughlin (Frazer), Liza Grant, Sarah Bradley, Mary Doherty (Paul), Cara Byrne, Sally Mooney, Brigid Harkin, Kathleen Porter, Mary Teresa Lafferty and Danny Mc Candless.
Technical College Students, 1940If you can identify any of the members of this group of students from the Technical College in 1940, please get in touch.
Cutting the Sod, 1957Cutting the Sod for the Building of the Technical School, Autumn, 1957.
Front Row: James A. Mc Donough, Fr. O'Brien P. P. (Buncrana), Mr. Cryan C. E. O., Miss Annie O'Doherty, D. E. I., Rev. Fr. Bonner, P. P, C. V. Mc Laughlin, (Architect), John Kelly, Co. C, Miss Doherty, Miss Annie Og Doherty D. E. I..
Back Row: Seamus Gildea, Eugene Mc Laughlin, Fr. Chapman, Fr. Bryson, Fr. Mc Goldrick P. P. (Malin), Rev. Boyd, Conal Doogan, Seamus Mc Laughlin, Paul Mc Laughlin, Liam Cunningham T. D., William T. Mc Laughlin, (Contractor).
Technical School Opening Day, 1959
"£40,000 Technical School Opened at Carndonagh"An article from the Londonderry Sentinel on the opening of the new school in 1959.
Postcard of the new Technical School
The Tech Building
Tech School TourA School Outing. Included in the photo:
Michael McCarron, Monica Doherty (Malin Head), Dolly McElhinney, Teasie Logue, Patsy McConalogue, Bernie Monagle, Margaret Canny, Marjorie Doherty (Fintan), Roberta Colhoun, Audrey Stewart, Margaret Deery, Margaret Kearney, Benny O’Donnell, Gerard McGaughey, Charlie Lafferty, Thomas Logue (Malin Head), James Kearney (P.O. Bridge St.), Danny McCandless, John Duffy (Gleneely), Danny McCarthy, Joe Shiels, Louis McLaughlin, Vera Doherty (Glenkeens), Josephine Grant, Peggy Harkin, Rena Doherty (Rasheeny), Anne Owen.
Teachers on Hunger Strike, 1971A report from the Derry Journal, Nov. 26th, 1971, on the case of two teachers from the Vocational School who chose to go on hunger strike 'to urge immediate action in the 26 counties to bring the brutality against internees in the North to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg". The teachers were Mr. Brian O'Maoileoin from Belfast and Miss Nora Graham of Limerick.
Cover of Technical School Magazine, 1973The front cover of the last edition of the Vocational School Magazine, 1973.