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St Michael's Primary School, Dunamanagh, Strabane

Our School

St Michael’s PS opened on 1st September 2019.  The new school was an amalgamation of four existing schools within two neighbouring parishes: St Joseph’s PS, Glenmornan from Leckpatrick Parish and Altishane PS, Loughash PS and St Patrick’s PS from the parish of Donagheady.  The newly amalgamated school opened on the existing site of St Patrick’s PS.  The new school has an ethos which draws on the strong history of Catholic Education within these two parishes, dating back to the 1700s:

St Joseph’s PS: first school founded in 1793.  This was followed by the school in Gorticrum, which  opened in 1859.  The school moved to Glenmornan in 1947.  St Joseph’s PS opened on its current site in 1958.

Altishane PS:  began as a hedge school in early 1800s.  The first school was founded in 1830.  The current Altishane PS opened in 1965.

Loughash PS: the first Loughash PS or ‘old school’ was on the Loughash Rd and probably started in 1870 (around the time of the 1870 Education Act).  The current Loughash school, on the Aughafad Road, opened in 1966 when pupils from Ballyneanor NS, which was situated on the road between Dunamanagh and Claudy, amalgamated with it, though the official opening ceremony did not take place until 1968.

St Patrick’s PS: the first school was Killenagh National School.  Application for building the school at Killenagh was made in 1848.  It closed in December 1978 and pupils transferred to the newly built St Patrick’s PS on its current site in January 1979.

Following amalgamation, St Michael’s PS was founded on 1st September 2019.

However, there is more to the story: the schools making up the amalgamation were not the only school serving this area in earlier years.  Belix NS served the upper end of the Donagheady parish, and when it closed its doors in 1968/9, its pupils moved to the existing Doorat NS, Altishane or travelled to Plumbridge.  When Doorat NS closed in 1971, its pupils transferred to Altishane or Loughash PS. The area is thus steeped in a tradition of providing education and serving its community.

A wealth of knowledge and talent has passed through the doors of these schools over the centuries, in terms of both teachers and pupils.  This tradition of strong Catholic Education is being maintained and developed to meet the needs of the 21st Century by all those entrusted with success of St Michael’s PS: its pupils, parents and staff.  This mission is enshrined in the school’s Mission Statement: Forward Together in Love.