Thomas Ashe attended Ardamore N.S. from 11 October 1889 to the Summer holidays of 1900. His teachers were John Hickson (Principal) and Michael O’Connor. They had a great love of the Irish language and this was passed on to the children under their care. Ardamore school was the first in Ireland to win the cup presented by William O’Brien to the teacher successfully presenting the highest number of pupils for examination in the Irish language.

The school was a one-roomed bulding measuring 40′ x 20′. It often housed up to 350 children, a fact which made conditions very crowded when the weather wasn’t suitable to hold classes outdoors. Nevertheless a wide and varied range of subjects was taught. Ashe was an excellent pupil at all subjects, with Irish, music and history being favourites. His attendance record at school was very regular. This was the exception at the time as many children were often absent for long periods helping out at home.

Having completed his national schooling successfully, Ashe was appointed monitor in Ardamore school in August 1900. This training course lasted for a period of five years. During that time he twice won the Reid Prize for ability and efficiency – at the end of the third year and also at the end of his final year.

On completion of his term as monitor, he was called to De La Salle Training College in Waterford in the Autumn of 1905. He completed the two year course obtaining his Christian Doctrine Diploma and also qualifying in Irish, vocal music and plain chant. While in De La Salle College he was active in the various organisations there, particularly the Gaelic League and the G.A.A.

grandnephew unveiling statue of bust Thomas Ashe De Le Salle Waterford

Grandnephew Sean Ashe at the unveiling of bust of Thomas Ashe at De Le Salle Waterford