Old Building 2004-2005
Does a building have life?
One could say that this building certainly has life, or should we say "Had Life"!
Between the years 1857 and 1860 Rev. Robert Cussen with the support of the local people,
succeeded in building a Monastery which combined a residence and two classrooms
and in April 1860 it was occupied by three Christian Brothers.
On the 29th of October 1897 the Christian Brothers left.
School did not resume in this building until the 16th of September 1907
when the DE La Salle Brothers took up residence.
(The facts surrounding these events are covered elsewhere on this site.)
A new and much bigger school was opened close by the Monastery in Decenber 1972
and during the Summer of 1973 the De La Salle Brothers were withdrawn from Bruff for the last time
due to dwindling vocations.
Three new lay teachers were added to the staff of the boy's school at that time
and Seán Garvey, Anthony Gubbins and Thomas Bulfin were appointed and began teaching there in the Summer of 1973.
There was also a girl's school under the same roof and included some Nuns of the order of the F.C.J. Sisters.
The Monastery was idle for a short period of time andd it was eventually given over to the local Development Association
who turned it into a Community Centre to be used by the general public.
This life continued without stop for more than twenty years when the building began to fall into disrepair and
was no longer safe for human use and was closed.
In the year 2000, the two schools amalgamated and Scoil Dean Cussen was formed.
To facilitate a refurbishment of the School, the Monastery was knocked to the ground in August 2004
and was replaced by a very fine School Hall exactly where the Monastery once stood.
The gate leading from the Athlacca Road remains to this day
as a fitting link between the many changes to the life of this Great building!
We are very fortunate to have received some photographs taken on the morning the building was demolished.
Even as it was being demolished it seemed to exude the kind of character one expects to find in such an old and historic building.
It is as if it was crying out to all those who passed through its gates. What stories it could tell!
The Mural displayed in one of these photographs has been extensively mentioned in the First Edition of Images of Bruff.
As I already said, we are fortunate to have these photographs to keep and display here for posterity.
It is with great sadness that we have to say that our search for similar photographs of the former girls National School
which was situated just where the gate of the Convent is, at present, has proved fruitless.
If there are such photographs out there we would welcome a copy of same.