Old School “Could Have Been Dance Hall”

“If Cashel Urban Council had adopted a proposal to transform the old Christian Brothers School on the top of Ladys Well Street into a dance hall then the landmark building constructed in 1748 could still be a hive of activity”, according to Tom Wood.

“If Cashel Urban Council had adopted a proposal to transform the old Christian Brothers School on the top of Ladys Well Street into a dance hall then the landmark building constructed in 1748 could still be a hive of activity”, according to Tom Wood.

While doing some research for his recently published book “27 Main Street”, Tom discover some interesting information in the Council minutes on the building which served as a Charter School, a Blue School, a National School and finally a Christian Brothers School.

In accordance with instructions from the Council, the Town Surveyor, Mr. Joseph Connolly, had inspected the building and presented his findings to a meeting on January 8th 1947.

“I have now made an inspection and complete survey of the premises and I submit preliminary plans showing the necessary extension required in order to give sufficient dance floor area for 500 people,” he advised the City Fathers. “The building as it stands is entirely insufficient and in itself will cost not less than £2000 to bring it up to the standard necessary”, he continued. “A comparison between the dance floor area in the Town Hall and the area available in the old school is as follows; Town Hall, 1342 square feet, old school, 1647 square feet, or extra accommodation for 46 dancers reckoning six square feet floor area for each dancer. I submit therefore that the cost of £2000 to gain accommodation for 46 dancers is not justifiable”.

Mr. Connolly then went on to propose the enlargement of the School by bringing out the front ( ground floor only) a distance of 22 feet which would give an extra area of 1403 square feet and make the total dance floor area sufficient for 500 dancers. Cloakrooms, toilets etc. would be built in the new extension while the proposed work would also include the dropping of the ground floor by 3 feet to give sufficient head room; the provision of a new stairs; the division of the first floor area into supper hall, bar, lounge, kitchen and scullery with new doors and windows installed throughout the premises. If the drainage from the building was to be connected to the Town sewer it would necessitate the laying of a six inch pipe for a distance of approximately 300 yards. The alternative was to install a septic tank and filter adjacent to the premises.

In the Town Surveyors estimation the total cost involved would have been £7,616.

Alas the intended development of the dance hall never materialised, according to Tom, and in 1964 the once beloved school resounded to the sound of crow bar, pick and shovel as it was finally demolished to make way for a filling station and Little Chef restaurant under the shadow of the famous Rock.