Barnaderg National School

Local History


The Barnaderg Crest


The Barnaderg crest represents our school and our parish. The flower on the right hand side of the crest is called the tormentil. It can be found in the local bog and was used as a treatment for diseases of the stomach in medieval times. The three stars which are on the left hand side of the crest represent the three prophets revered by the Carmelite Order whose 12th century monastery is situated at Creevaghbawn.  These three stars originally formed part of the Carmelites' own crest. The window which is on the lower part of the crest represents the mullioned window which is on the left hand side of the O’ Kelly castle. We are very proud to have this historic crest and we are glad to have it to represent our school and our parish. Lots of schools around Ireland have their own crest but I’m very happy to have the Barnaderg crest. By Sarah Keane.




The Golden Mile 

5th and 6th class have been working hard with Google Earth to produce the following link:

Barnaderg Heritage Trail:

Our school is located in Barnaderg, Killererin which can be seen on this map.  The Golden Mile starts in the village.

Seo mapa.



  Barnaderg Castle

 Barnaderg Castle was built in medieval times by Malachy O’ Kelly. He was married to Fionnuala O’ Connor, daughter of Cathal Craobh Dearg O’ Connor.  They probably lived in a fort in the area. Both are buried in Abbeyknockmoy. In 1677 all the lands of Barnaderg and Abbeyknockmoy were given to an Englishman named Nicholas Browne – about 2000 acres altogether. Some of the stone from Barnaderg Castle was used to build his house at Moyne Park.

We can see Barnaderg castle from our school yard, and Mr. Mulryan's class have a great view of the castle and the turlough beside the castle all day long! Mr. Mulryan's class use binoculars regularly to identify and record the wildlife in the tulough. We are very lucky to have a castle so close to the school. The senior classes go on a walk up to the castle and around the turlough almost every year.

Barnaderg Castle was the principal seat of the O'KELLY'S of Hy-many {Immane, Ummane}. The two adjoining townlands are Immane-Beg and Immane-more. Their territory was very extensive extending to near Dunmore and Castlerea. They had many castles. Our castle was built in medieval times. The O'Kelly's were famous for their hospitalityand the phrase "Failte Ui Cheallaigh" is still used.

The castle was probably 37 feet by 25 feet and 48 feet high. It has excellent preservation. There were four stores and a garret. The thickness of the east wall was four and a half feet, the west five and a half. The Castle is situated on a mound of about one third of an acre. The Castle is approached by a raised causeway in which there is said to have been a drawbridge.

The History of Barnaderg Village

The Village of Barnaderg looked much the same back in the 1930s and 1940s as it does today.  The shops have changed owners and there are some new houses. Our Centra Supermarket was a shop and the post office was owned by the Fahy family. There were two more shops, one  owned by Mrs.Fagan and the other by the Joyner family. Mrs Fagan's shop was a sweet shop and if you brought her your old copy books, she would make a cone from the paper and fill it up with sweets. Keane’s was another general shop on the Dublin Road as you leave the village. It sold everything, but children frequented it especially for "bull's eyes" and when the sweet can became empty somebody would be glad to use it to take to Keane's Well for spring water or to use it for milking a cow. Recycling is not new! The two pubs were  in the village and  they also sold groceries. There was a market  house where the grotto stands today.People brought potatoes and vegetables and oats to be weighed and to use to pay as rent to the landlord, John A. Kirwin who had it erected.

Boys and Girls and Barnaderg National School in the 1960s 


The old school has now been transformed into the Killererin Community Centre.The teachers  in the 1930s were Miss. Delaney and her sister Mrs O'Sullivan and her husband Mr. O' Sullivan. They moved here from Cork. Miss Delaney’s house is where Wilsons' house is now.  This building started off as a school which was built in 1841.This is a photo of the school founded in 1894 . Miss Florence O'Sullivan taught here for forty years.


 Just below that house there is an old R.I.C. Barracks which is now in ruins. It was named "Glenrock".   In the car park stood a small thatched house owned by Bina King and her husband. On the chapel road there were the  Morrissey and Morris familes who still live there and Guard Kennedy lived beside them in a thatched cottage for many years. Only the boundary walls of this remain.Brannelly’s pub was owned by the Fleming family -  5th/6th class

You can see some photos of pupils through the years at this address:

This links to the Barnaderg ‘Golden Mile film’ and photographs




The Parish of Killererin

,Our school is situated in the parish of Killererin, the smallest parish in Tuam's Archdiocese. It is an unusual parish in that there is no townland bearing the same name as the parish. Barnaderg is the main village, but the church is not situated there . The parish takes its name directly from the church.  It is likely that the name Cill Fhir Iarainn derives from the church being built on a hill adjacent to a forge.

The parish is mentioned in 1306 as paying taxes to the Pope. It is mentioned again in 1419 and spelled Kyllaredrand and again in 1558 and1584 when it is described as having a vicarage and a rectory.

 During Penal times Kilererin still built a chapel. It had to be called a chapel as only Church of Ireland buildings could be called churches. It replaced a thatched building which had blown down in a great storm in 1839.In a letter to Lord Shrewsbury Archbishop McHale of Tuam wrote that many people were dying"In great distress" at the time.There were 1,641people less in the parish in the1851 census than there had been in the 1841 census.

Barnaderg is a low ridge between two hills and it is thought that iron in the soil accounts for the descriptive red in "The Red Gap"

Our school and village through the years (5th and 6th class project)

This links to photographs of our school through the years

 This links to the Barnaderg ‘Golden Mile film’ and photographs


Meaning of the name Barnaderg

The gap (Bearna) is a low ridge running between the hill at Knock and the hill at Killererin on which the church stands.North of Barnaderg to Mountbellew there were ten miles or so of forests.  South of it were boggy patches.  So the passage through the hills were along the ridge and gave the name Bearna to the place.  Dearg (red) is the colour of the ploughed land .This gives us the name BEARNA DHEARG, meaning red gap.


Bog Butter

A GROUP of schoolchildren have volunteered to be the custodians of a five stone lump of butter, buried in a bog over 300 years ago.
The butter was discovered yesterday in the Poll na gCapaill bog near Barnaderg in Co. Galway by turf cutters Tom Burke and Vincent Roche.
According to one local historian, it was traditional for butter to be stored in the bogs because of the great preservative qualities of the high acid soil.
Now the find, the largest of its kind in the West, is to be preserved by the local schoolchildren, for a few months until it starts to melt.
Yesterday, the schoolchildren, from Barnaderg national school, were brought along by principal Sylvester Cassidy for a look at the largest lump of butter they had ever seen and they jokingly brought along a sliced pan in the hope that some of it could still be used.
"The men who found it have given it to us and we are going to get it examined to determine its exact age," said Mr Cassidy.
"It was in a wicker basket and an outer layer of bark was placed around it by the people who put it there. We will probably bring it to the school for a while.
"It will be a novelty, but eventually it will start to melt and smell so it will have to be thrown out then," said Mr Cassidy.
He said the butter was not edible but still retained its buttery smell and texture and was extremely cool and hard.


      We are glad to update this article by letting you know that far from having melted away after being preserved for so many years the butter is safely stored in The National Museum in Dublin. We are very proud to have been associated with this very important find. Ms O'Connor.