Cróchán Naofa NS was opened in 1971. The first principal was Mr. Seamus O’ Shea and the Assistant Teacher was Mrs Maureen Moran. The new school replaced a much older building on a different site. A local farmer – Mike Donnelly, donated the site for the school to the parish. It was built by Jimmy King Construction, Waterville. Fr. Mac Sweeney, then Parish Priest was the manager of the school. The school was blessed by the Bishop of Kerry, Dr Eamon Casey assisted by Fr. Mac Sweeney PP and Fr. Patrick Galvin, Castlecove. Representing the Department of Education were local men the late Párthalán Ó Súilleabháin who had been deputy Chief Inspector of Primary Schools and the Local District Inspector at the time; Donnacha Ó Conghaile. Among the attendance were some officials from the Boards of Work and some members of the local community. To celebrate the opening of the school, the builder hosted a lunch for everyone involved at the Bay View Hotel in Waterville. Seamus O’ Shea retired in 1972 and Mrs Maureen Moran was then appointed Principal.
When Mr. O’ Shea retired, he gave the school bell which belonged to his mother who had been the principal of the old girls school in Caherdaniel. Mrs Moran retired in 2000 and Seamus’ daughter Helen Flynn was appointed Principal and she took the bell which had belonged to her Grandmother. This bell is still in use in the school today to summon the children to class.
Mrs Marie White was appointed Assistant Teacher in the 1970s . Both Helen and Marie retired on the same day in October 2009. Sadly Helen passed away in Summer 2011. Beannacht Dé len hanam uasal.
Maria Maunsell was then appointed Principal and Jacinta O’ Shea was appointed Assistant Teacher. In the 40 years since the school opened many boys and girls have passed through the school – all we hope with at least some happy memories of their early school days.
Schools and education have changed a lot since 1971. We have a new curriculum and computers are now a central part of instruction. All classrooms have interactive boards and broadband connections – but still at its core are the children of Caherdaniel who make the building a bright and happy place.