There has been a school on the current site of Taunagh NS since 1840 and school enrolment records exist dating back to January 1887. Originally the teacher’s residence was on the upper floor and a teacher continued to live on the premises up until the late 1930s. Noteworthy amongst the various teachers who have worked at the school was Mrs. Ann Patterson who was principal for 47 years from 1925 to 1972.
The following passages are taken from an article ‘Schoolday Reminiscenses’ by a former pupil, Kathleen Fairbanks. (The Riverstown Story, County Sligo. 2005. Jack Johnston (Ed). Riverstown Enterprise Development (Sligo) Ltd. (N.B.: Taunagh National School used to be called Riverstown No 2 National School)
“I attended Riverstown No 2 National School during the 1930s. This was a one teacher boys and girls school. It was a two storey stone building with the teacher’s residence upstairs reached by a stone stairway. The classroom was downstairs with a kitchenette and hallway. The average attendance was between 24 and 30 pupils. The subjects taught were Irish, English, Arithmetic, Geography, Drawing, Needlework, Singing and Religious Studies.”
“Our classroom had a wooden floor and various sized with inkwells and a groove for pen and pencil and a shelf underneath for books. The teacher made the ink form powder and water. World maps hung on the walls and there were a few blackboards and cupboards for books. The only heating was a turf fire in the grate for wintertime. Our parents supplied the fuel. We got a break from class when it arrived to be stored in the shed and we all helped to carry the sods of turf. Water had to be fetched by the senior boys from a tap in the village. It was piped to the schoolyard during the hot weather and we held our hand under the tap foe a cool drink. In those days it was dry toilets, buachaillí and cailíní, with hand basin and towel in the corner.”