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St. Lassara's National School, Ballinacarrow, Co. Sligo, Ireland

School Information

School History

History of the school

St. Lassara’s N.S. was built on a site adjoining the old school (now the local Community Centre) which was built in 1887. St. Lassara was sister of St. Nathy and mother of St. Fechin. She lived in Killasser which means the Church of Lassara.

St. Lassara’s N.S. was built in 1951 and 1952, Mr. Sean Devaney and Ms Mae O’Donnell moved from the old school to teach there. Mr. Devaney was Principal and he taught 3rd to 6th Classes while Ms O’Donnell taught Infants to 2nd Class. All subjects were taught through Irish by order of the Department of Education. Both of these teachers worked happily together for almost twenty years when Mr. Devaney retired. Ms. O’Donnell was Acting Principal for the following year.

At this time, there were 6 schools in the Ballinacarrow end of the parish. On Mr. Devaney’s retirement the Department of Education decided to close 3 of them. Pupils of Lisaneena moved to St. Lassara’s N.S. with Mr. Tommie Kilcoyne and his assistant Mrs. Eileen Tighe. Pupils from Lackagh were sent to Collooney with their teacher and pupils from Kinnegrelly were also sent to Collooney but their Principal Mrs. Breege O’Donoghue cane to Ballinacarrow. In order to accommodate the new pupils and teachers, a tow-roomed chalet was erected at the back of the school. Central heating and flush toilets and wash hand basins were installed and a small teachers room and boiler house were built on.

In September 1971, when the amalgamation took place, Mr. Tommie Kilcoyne became Principal. St. Lassara’s N.S. was now a 4 teacher school. Ms. O’Donnell retired 6 years later having spent 32 years teaching in Ballinacarrow, 27 of them in St. Lassara’s N.S.

Down through the years, St. Lassara’s N.S. regularly had children from the Traveller Community. In 1989, a number of families moved to the area and lived on the N17 in Cloonacurra. In August 1989, the Department of Education agreed to provide a Teacher for these children. Initially, the children spent all their time in their own class but as time went on, there was more and more integration with other classes. In 1997, the families moved to Ballyfree halting site in Carraroe, Sligo and the children enrolled in Carraroe N.S.

In June 2007, Mr. Tommie Kilcoyne retired, having spent 37 years teaching in the parish, 36 of these teaching in St. Lassara’s N.S.

Ms. Mary Curley was appointed Principal of St. Lassara’s N.S. in September 2007 and became only the fourth permanent Principal and first female Principal in Ballinacarrow since 1887.  Ms. Curley moved to Ballisodare N.S. in 2022 and our current principal Mr. Aodán Brennan joined our school.


School Band:

Here in St. Lassara’s N.S., we are very proud of our School Band which has been in existence since 1975. Pupils from 2nd class join the band carrying pom poms, 3rd to 6th classes play in the band. We participate in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Sligo. Our Parents’ Association play a very important role in supporting the band.

Active School Flag:

The Active School Flag is awarded to schools that strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school Community.  We were awarded our 2nd Active School Flag in June 2018.  The children take part in Active School Week each year as part of the ASF.

Our school also has a strong tradition in Gaelic Games and take part in Cumann na mBunscol competitions, both hurling and football, annually. Children from Junior Infants up take part in an annual GAA Coaching Scheme.

Children also get an opportunity to take part in:

  • The School Football League
  • Athletics
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance
  • Swimming (3rd-6th, every second year)
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Orienteering
  • Sports Day

Green Schools:

Our school is involved in the Green Schools Project and we are currently working towards our 8th Green Flag, Global Citizenship – Marine environment.



Parents’ Association:

We are lucky to have a very active Parents’ Association supporting the work of the school. The P.A. communicates with the parents through the school. It is a good idea to attend meetings as it gives you an opportunity to meet other parents. Occasionally, the P.A. invites guest speakers to give Information Talks on topics of interest to parents.


Other activities:

The school takes part in such events as World Book Day, World Maths Day, Seachtain na Gaeilge, Science Week, Engineers Week, Space Week and Table Quizzes. We have a Friendship Squad to look after the younger children at break times.  All classes perform in our School Plays at Christmas and the whole school gets together for our monthly Assemblies.  We also support local charitable organisations such as the North West Hospice and a school in Tanzania.



Health Promoting Schools

We are a Health Promoting School aiming to foster the healthy development of the whole school community.  We promote the physical and mental health and wellbeing of pupils and staff alike.  We are working towards our Health Promoting Schools Flag.