Rockmount Playing Field

Rockmount Playing Field

from 39.00

Photographer: George Sheils

This is Rockmount National School playing field which is situated on a hill overlooking Miltown Malbay in Co Clare. This field was developed by the parents of the pupils at the school so that the kids could have somewhere to play hurling and gaelic football when the weather is fine. There is no exercise space inside the small schoolhouse so all PE activity either takes place in the tarmacadam schoolyard or on this playing field. The school was built in 1865 but is still in use today and services the educational needs of some 45 pupils from the rural community nearby.

This marks the first set of pictures which I am putting together in a project which is looking at the current status of small rural schools in Ireland, of which many are under threat of closure for a variety of reasons. Emigration, falling family sizes and the need for parents to travel further to work are some of the more compelling reasons which seem to be affecting the viability of small rural schools such as Rockmount.

I photographed another school not far away from this one and it has recently closed despite having all of the facilities one would need to provide children with a fine education. What a pity it is to see this.

-George Sheils

Calumet cc-402 Wide Field Large Format camera/ Schneider Angulon 120mm lens/ 5x4 Fomapan 100 film exposed at 50 iso/ F22 @ 1/2 sec


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