History

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Carrickmannon Primary School has been standing on the current site for over 175 years, the land having been provided by Lord Dufferin in 1825. From its beginnings as a one room National School, the building has been extended and refurbished several times resulting in the excellent accommodation provided for the children of today. The most recent addition, an extension to the original building was officially opened on 12th March 2003.

The Return to Carrickmannon

I left my happy home,
Each comrade and relation,
And sail’d across the main
Unto a distant nation.

Tho’ long I absent did remain,
The ties of home did bind me;
With love I often thought again
On those I left behind me.

There late and early did I toil,
My future prospect scanning —
I long’d to tread my native soil,
The hills of Carrickmannon.

“Mid scenes of pleasure and of pain,
To them I back returned;
The home of youth to see again,
For which I long had mourned.

And when I saw that hallow’d spot,
No kindred voice did greet me;
The absent one had been forgot —
No friend was there to meet me!

Alas, how things are chang’d!
With broken sighs I falter’d;
Yet I remember how they ranged,
Tho’ much they have been alter’d.

A burn (brook) then here did flow,
Through which I often waded;
And a rose-bush there did grow,
But like myself it’s faded.

I see the Sentry Hill,
And Robin’s whinstone (basalt or chert) quarry —
The pond behind the mill,
Where oft I sailed my wherry (light boat)!

The tree round wihch I play’d.
Its fate I sore lamented;
“Twas broken and decay’d —
By my father’s hand was planted.

The ivy round it crept;
The scene my heart affected —
I sat me down and wept,
To see the spot neglected;

While the birds did sing as clear
Upon the stump remaining,
As when I attended here
The School in Carrickmannon.

I went to see the seat
Which overlooks the river;
Where my comrades oft did meet —
Like them, ’twas gone forever!

I wandered down the dell,
Where in early days I ran on;
And for ever bade farewell
To my long-lov’d Carrickmannon.

POEMS, by James Munce. Glasgow:
George Callie, 99 Buchanan Street.
1863, P 74-6.

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