School was built at a cost of just £6,000

On Monday, March 2, 1863 a new model national school opened in Lurgan, located close to the railway and in the centre of an industrial hub.

The school was built using plans prepared by Mr Owen, architect to the Board of Works in Dublin.

Building work started in the summer of 1861, and finished towards the later end of last year, at a cost of £6,000.

The contractor for the whole works was Mr Kerr of Dublin, who has finished them to the satisfaction of the Inspector of the Board of Works.

The first principal of Lurgan Model was Alexander Greer. Following Mr Greer’s retirement, the next few principals are unknown, however, in 1918 James Harrison became headmaster.

He was succeeded by RJ Frazer Hill in 1932 who was in turn succeeded by WHL Thornberry in 1943.

Robert Ward took up the post from 1973 to 1979, followed by Brian Cassells.

Dean Woods led the school through the eighties, Trevor Brown was principal from 1988 to 2000, and Rodger Toner is the current head.

The Model boasts are host of well-known former pupils including Northern Ireland International goalkeeper Norman Uprichard, who helped the team reach the quarter finals of the 1958 World Cup in Sweden and John Cushnie, renown gardener and panellist on BBC Radio Four’s Gardeners’ Question Time.