HISTORY MOVES ON WITH STAIRS AT BISHOP MURPHY MEMORIAL SCHOOL
The Bishop Murphy Memorial School in Fermoy was a virtual hive of activity this week as workers removed old stairs which have been there since the school was constructed in 1904. This is part of a renovation to the interior that will be finished in time for the new term in September. Situated in the heart of Fermoy, Bishop Murphy Memorial School caters for the primary education of boys from second to sixth class.
The Avondhu spoke to local councillor and former pupil, John Murphy on the refurbishment of the school: “I welcome the renovation of the school, in a way it’s a shame to remove the old stairs where many students including myself, would have climbed up and down over the years. But the stairs were in a state of bad repair so this needed to be done.”
On August 28h 1904, Dr Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne, laid the foundation stone for the school. A year later the school we have today was completed and formally opened.
When it came to naming the school, much to local disappointment, including complaints from Fermoy Urban District Council, Bishop Browne steadfastly refused the Fermoy Brothers permission to erect a plaster sign with the words ‘Christian Brothers’ School’ on the front of their new building.
The bishop insisted instead that it be known as ‘Bishop Murphy Memorial School’ and that a sign to that effect be erected across the facade. On April 28, 1963, the centenary of the Brothers arrival was celebrated.
Two years previously a number of improvements to the school facilities had been initiated. These incorporated a new toilet block, bicycle sheds and a newly concreted yard and shelter that made the school resplendent for the celebrations.
Among the chief guests was Dr Paddy Hillery, Minister for Education and later to become President of Ireland. He attended the banquet held in the school where a telegram of best wishes was read from Pope John XXIII.
A number of lectures and other social and sporting events were held over the following weeks culminating in a concert given by the Artane Boys Band in the Palace Hall, now the Fermoy Youth Centre.
As enrolments began to fall in the secondary school with the expansion of the other second level schools in the town, the Brothers announced in May 1976 they would completely close the facility.
The Brothers also announced that they would leave Fermoy in 1981, at which point their primary school would become a national school run by a board of management.
In 2004, to mark the centenary of the present building, the school published Bishop Murphy Memorial School, Fermoy…A Century of Memories.
In 2009 it had over 120 pupils and a total staff of 16, including nine teaching staff.
Friday 9th July 3:29pm