Our Lady of Lourdes School, originally in Blackrock Parish, opened before Easter in 1944. The foundation stone was laid in 1943 by Canon Murphy, P.P. of Blackrock Parish and he appointed Mrs. Coughlan as the first Principal. The school opened with about sixty pupils between the ages of four and twelve including boys up to seven years. There were three classrooms and a large cloakroom in the original building. The classrooms had fireplaces and the senior room had a range for cooking lessons. As there was no central heating at the time, the teachers had the job of lighting fires before class began. Numbers at the school increased quickly and three extra classrooms were added on. Miss Kathleen Lynch, the Infant teacher decorated the walls of the Infant room with her own paintings and some of these paintings still remain. In the early days of the school, it was awarded the “Carlyle and Blake”award which was awarded to a school of great excellence. Mrs. Coughlan retired as Principal in 1967. She was replaced by Miss Leahy who retired in 1972. Miss Kathleen Lynch was Principal for the next three years and Mrs. Eileen O’Connor succeeded her until 1994. Mrs. Mary Twomey took up the mantle until 2010 and was succeeded in 2010 to 2020 by Mary Lucey. The current principal is Mercedes Campion.
Our Lady of Lourdes was the first Cork school to get a uniform. This was a navy gymslip, a blazer, beret and a white blouse. Later, when other schools got navy uniforms, we changed to wine gymslips, cream blouses, yellow and wine ties and wine girdles. The girdles had to be discontinued when the “Munster Arcade”, which used to supply them, closed down. The wine blazer sported a very large badge in the shape of a shield. The small round badge came later. It depicts a cross, a crown and twelve stars. The motto of this is “No Cross, No Crown” which means “No pain, No gain”. This is the uniform worn by the present pupils of the school. Mary Lucey was school Principal from September 2010 to October 2020
The Victoria Singers
This choir was originally formed from amongst Third Class in the school under the baton of Miss Kathleen Lynch. They became a very well known and successful choir. In 1967, they won all the awards at Feis Maitiu, Cork for Choral Singing. As a result of this success they were invited to perform in the Cork Choral Festival. This was unprecedented as there were no competitions for children in the Festival at that time. They were awarded First Prize with the highest mark given that year to any choir in the Festival.
The Knockrea Singers
The success of the Victoria led Miss Kathleen Lynch to form another young choir starting from Junior Infants and up to Sixth Class. This was the famous “Knockrea Singers”. This choir included the famous Cork soprano, Mary Hegarty, among its members. Since that time, the musical tradition of the school has been maintained and nurtured. The school choir, which consists of all students from 4th, 5th and 6th classes maintains a consistently high standard of performance and takes part in many musical occasions i.e. Cór Fhéile, Christmas pageants, Fundraising concerts with Cara O’Sullivan, Cork Youth Orchestra, Mary Hegarty, Church events, Carol concerts etc. In 1999, Minister Mícheál Martin, opened an extension to the school. This extension consists of two classrooms, a Hall and a Staffroom. It was necessary to house the ever increasing numbers who wished to attend the school. Our Lady of Lourdes N.S. began with a mixed junior department of 60 pupils in 1944. The school continues to nurture and develop the fine traditions and high academic standards laid down by the original staff. Even though our numbers have increased, our aim is to give personal attention in an intimate environment. We are proud of our continuing achievement in providing a well balanced and full education for our pupils. We look back on our past with pride and satisfaction and look to the future with hope and confidence. Go mairimid i bhfad faoi bhrat Mhuire Lourdes.