During the Great Irish Famine (1847-1849), two parish priests Monsignor William Yore and Father Thomas McNamara wanted to help deaf children by setting up a school. In 1856, a big school was built beside Cabra Cross. It was named St Joseph's School for the Deaf.
This video is designed as a resource for primary and post-primary students up to Junior Certificate.
St Joseph’s School for the Deaf, Cabra
Around the time of the Great Irish Famine (1847-1849) when most people were very poor and the famine made many of them sick, two parish priests, Monsignor William Yore and Father Thomas McNamara, wanted to help deaf children by setting up schools for them.
The first school was started in Glasnevin in 1845. At first, only four boys went to this school but the number of boys soon increased and the parish priests needed a bigger building. In 1856, a big school was built beside Cabra Cross. It was named St Joseph’s School for the Deaf.
Many people helped to keep the school open. Monsignor William Yore even sold all the books from his own library to raise £1,500. This converts to €850,000 today .
In this school the Irish Christian Brothers taught the boys Irish sign language. Sign language lets people communicate with each other by making symbols with their hands.
The boys also learned reading, writing, tailoring (that is making clothes), shoemaking, printing, baking, carpentry, gardening and painting. This helped them get jobs after school.
Sport was very important at St Joseph’s. The boys used to play Gaelic football on the playing fields in the Phoenix Park. They did gymnastics, athletics and played handball, table tennis and soccer. Peter Desmond who played for the Irish soccer team in the 1940s was a pupil of St Joseph’s.
In 1987 a new school was built beside St Joseph’s. This school is called Edmund Rice School after the founder of the Christian Brothers.