Kitty (91) recalls early Ardclough school days

Meeting of the generations. Mrs. Kitty Keane (nee Butler) at 91 years is the oldest past pupil of Ardclough National School which was then down along by the canal pictured with the youngest pupil of the new Scoil Áine Naofa, Ardclough NS, Keelan Tyndall aged 4 from Junior Infants at the official opening of the new school in Ardclough on Friday, April 11.                       Photo Tony Keane.
IT has been quite a while since Kitty Keane attended school at Ardclough.

IT has been quite a while since Kitty Keane attended school at Ardclough.

The 91 year old former pupil of St. Anne’s primary school was back on 11 April for the official opening of the modern version of the school where she began.

Among other things, Kitty is the mother of well-known local photographer, Tony, who works with the Leinster 

Accompanied by other family members, Kitty, who was born in 1923, is the oldest former pupil of the school.

The oldest roll book record of St. Anne’s dates to 1901.

Kitty lived in Oughterard, the area where the first Arthur Guinness is buried. “It was a long walk to school,” she said. She walked about a mile to the school, which, she recalled had about 40 children in it.

The principal was Clare native Mrs Maguire, whose son Tom taught in Naas CBS.

She recalled a junior teacher, a Ms. Tully, as being very nice.

But she was not fond of the Bishop of the area. “He was nasty not like the lovely Bishop (Denis Nulty) we had today.

“There was no running water in the school.We had to bring our sticks for the fire,” she said.

After leaving Scoil Naofa Aine, Kitty went to the technical school in Naas.

She later worked in the paper mill in Saggart and got a wage of £6-10 shillings when she started work there at the age of 17. She says she should have stayed longer in school but acknowledged that she was “not studious”.

She often thought of joining a religious order but she married Tom and had a family, including three daughters, settling in Kill. “Young people are a bit spoiled today,” she believes, recalling World Ward 11 fuel shortages..