COLÁISTE NA MUMHAN, Ballingeary, Co. Cork


The following is the English text of a booklet from 1909 seeking funds for a fund which eventually helped build the Halla in Ballingeary which was opened in 1914 by an tAthair Peadar O’Laoire




Appeal in Aid of Building Fund.


His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Fennelly, Archbishop of Cashel.

Most Rev. Dr. Browne, Bishop of Cloyne.

Most Rev. Dr. O’Callaghan, Bishop of Cork.

Most Rev. Dr. O’Dwyer, Bishop of Limerick.

Most Rev. Dr. Sheehan, Bishop of Waterford.

Most Rev. Dr. Kelly, Bishop of Ross.

Most Rev. Dr. Mangan, Bishop of Kerry.

Most Rev. Dr. Fogarty, Bishop of Killaloe.


CHAIRMAN: Rev. C. O’Leary, P.P. Inchigeela.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Padraig O’ Shea, N.T , Glengarriff.

HON. TREASURER: Michael Murphy, Solicitor, 41,South Mall, Cork.

Very Rev. Fr. Augustine, O.S.F.C. ; Rev. D. O’Driscoll, C.C, Bantry, Co. Cork ; Rev. C. Breannan, C.C, Tralee, Co. Kerry ; Rev. J O’Connell, Cork ; T.A. O’Scannell, N.T., Ballingeary ; John A. O’Connell, King St., Cork ; Seán O Cuív, Glasnevin, Dublin ; Seán O Kelly, Clonturk Park, Dublin ; Seán O Cuill, Dominick St., Cork.

Liam De Róiste, Secretary.

OFFICES:- Dún Na nGaedheal, Queen St. Cork. Lughnasa, 1909.


Phonetics: Rev. R. Daly, D.D , Ph.D. , Headmaster.

Historical Irish Grammer: Osborn Bergin, Ph. D., F.R.U.I.

Latin: Mrs. Maire Fitzgerald, M.A.

Method of Teaching: Seán O’ Cathain, Diarmuid O’Leary.

National School Subjects: Seán O’Shea, N.T., T.A. O’Scannell, N.T.

Singing: Annie O’Reilly.

Summer School: Eileen Cronin, M. Foley.

Irish Dancing : M. Foley.

Other Professors and Lecturers in previous years were:

Rev. R. Henebry, D.D., Ph.D.; P.S.Dinnenn, M.A. ; Rev. Gerald Nolan, M.A., B.D.; T.P. O’Nowlan, M.A.; Diarmuid Foley, Rev. C. Brennan, C.C. ; Padraig Mac Sweeney.





Showing Number of Students that attended the College each year.

1904 -- 62 1907 -- 171

1905 -- 101 1908 -- 222

1906 -- 124 1909 -- 252.


Appeal in Aid of Building Fund.

The Munster Training College was founded at a conference held in Cork in connection with the Munster Feis of 1903. At that time there was a great dearth of capable teachers of Irish. England, in respect of education, was, as Dr. Henebry, once said, a wet blanket between Ireland and the continent ; in the teaching of languages England lagged behind every country in Europe. Ireland copied English methods and lagged still further behind. The Rev. Richard O’Daly, D.D., Ph.D, a distinguished linguist and trained phonetician, arrived in Ireland from Australia the previous year, and began to advocate scientific methods of teaching living languages. He formed a little school in Gougane Barra, and began to try experiments in the learning and teaching of the Irish language. His work gave a new impetus to Irish studies, and suggested the possibility of establishing a college where teachers would be trained in the most scientific methods of language teaching. Colaiste Na Mumhan was the result. The college was opened in Ballingeary, Co. Cork  in 1904. By a happy coincidence the opening ceremony, took place on the 4th July-Independence Day-in the presence of a number of American tourists who were passing through to Gougane Barra, and symbolised, as it were, the beginning of Ireland’s intellectual independence of England in education. Founded to give instruction in methods of teaching, its curriculum has since extended, and now includes instruction on the linguistics of Irish, on the Latin language and literature, and on the teaching of primary school subjects through the medium of Irish, as well as the lectures on phonetics and method of teaching. There is no limit to the possibilities of an institution which has shown such a capacity for spontaneous, natural growth. Irish is the language of instruction in all subjects. Dr. Douglas Hyde President of the Gaelic League, wrote as follows in reply to an invatation to attend the opening ceremony in 1904: "I greatly regret that a previous engagement keeps me from attending what will certainly be one of the landmarks of the Irish Language Movement the opening of the Munster Training College. It would give me great pleasure to be present at the most practical work done yet, from which I expect the greatest advantage to our movement in the near future. The College at Ballingeary, as a piece of self-help, will be invaluable as an object lesson. I am glad to be able to enclose a cheque for £5 from Mr. Roger Casement, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, which he hopes to make an annual subscription." His words have since come true. The work of the College has effected a revolution in the teaching of Irish, and is also effecting a change for the better in the teaching of all modern languages in Ireland. From the first it was seen that the College had in it the element of growth. The growth in the number of persons seeking its instruction and guidance has been even more remarkable. Freed from the deadening influences of English educational methods, the natural love of our people for learning asserted itself. Students flocked to the College from all parts of Ireland, from England, and from abroad. Teachers of primary and secondary schools, University professors and students, and Gaelic League district teachers, have year after year given up their holidays to study at the Munster Training College. The students’ thirst for knowledge has been equalled by the professors’ zeal in imparting it. In selecting its staff the Committee of Management has always sought to obtain the services of the best available teacher of each subject, and has been fortunate in securing men and women fired with enthusiasm for the ideal of an absolutely Irish-speaking Ireland, who, to further this idea, have themselves to the work of the College. Year after year the College has had on its staff professors who have sacrificed every day of their annual holiday to the arduous task of teaching in Ballingeary. This true scholastic spirit seems to animate teachers and students alike, and has been one of the causes of the phenomenal success of the Munster Training College. The Committee has never pursued a niggardly policy in the management of the College, yet it has always lived within its income. Subscriptions have come to it spontaneously in sufficient amount to enable it to carry on its work for the past five years. Now, however a stage in the development of the College has been reached, when a formal appeal for funds has become inevitable. The College has out-grown its surroundings, and further expansion is impossible without new buildings. It is only by the kindness of the President, the Rev. C. O’Leary, P.P. Inchigeela in changing the holidays of the Ballingeary National Schools, that the Committee is able to accommodate the students this year. The original building given to the Committee free of charge by the late Rev. P. Hurley, P.P., Inchigeela, though enlarged in 1908, is altogether inadequate for the accommodation of the students. The Committee, therefore, has resolved to erect a new building, and appeals to you to assist them in the work. The people of Ballingeary have offered to present a site to the Committee , and to assist in other ways. They are already doing their own part in increasing the residential accommodation of the village and district to keep pace with the increasing demands of the students. A transformation has in fact, been effected in Ballingeary. The district is scheduled as a Congested District. Five years ago it was one of the few of these districts in the County Cork, and it had no special possession except a warm-hearted, generous people, who spoke the Irish language with remarkable purity and literary grace. To-day there is a thriving village at Ballingeary. Flowers and flower gardens are to be seen everywhere, and the standard of comfort has been improved on every side. In a word, the economic problem, which is at the root of the problem of preserving the living Irish speech, is being solved in Ballingeary. All who subscribe to this fund will assist in the solution of that problem, and at the same time, help in the further development of an institution which in the five years that have passed, has shown a capacity for continuous, natural growth, and before which the Committee of Management believe there is a great and glorious future. Subscriptions may be sent to the Honorary Treasurer, Secretary, or any Member of the Committee of Management.