The History of St. Canice’s GNS
St. Canice’s Girls’ National School is situated on Séamus Ennis Road, Finglas, Dublin 11.
In 1943 what we refer to as “the small school” was built and was the original boys school in Finglas. It faced on to Ballygall Road and consisted of three classrooms. These classrooms were heated by solid fuel stoves which were lit by a local lady each morning. At that time, girls in the parish went to St. Brigid’s School in Finglas West or to a private girls’ school in St. Michael’s.
In 1963, what we refer to as “the main school” was built. This accommodated a separate boys’ and separate girls’ school. The Boys’ School was situated upstairs and the principal was Mr. Moroney. Downstairs was the Girls’ School which was run by the Holy Faith Nuns. Infant boys were situated in the small school during this time.
In 1971 the boys moved to a newly built school on Glasanaon Road and it was named St. Canice’s Boys’ School. At that stage the number of girls attending St. Canice’s Girls’ School increased. Along with the main building, the small school and prefabs were used to accommodate everyone, even the basement of the church was used at one stage. There were about 850 pupils in the school between 1972 and 1975. At that time there were between forty five and fifty girls in each class.
The uniform consisted of a blue skirt with straps, a white blouse, a blue jumper and a blue beret. The girls sat in wooden desks which had a space underneath for their books. Two children sat at each desk. Where the staff room is now situated was used as a cookery room and the girls also learned to knit and sew.
St. Canice’s Girls’ School continues to expand today. Classrooms are situated in the main building, in the small school and in the newly built pre-fabs. This has resulted in smaller sized classes which benefit the children. The girls also enjoy the outdoor surroundings with a sensory garden, a willow tunnel, planting areas, a playground and a basketball court.