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Scoil Mhuire / an Scoil
Main Street
Main Street
Skull is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 51°31′36″N 9°32′53″W / 51.5266°N 9.5481°W / 51.5266; -9.5481Coordinates: 51°31′36″N 9°32′53″W / 51.5266°N 9.5481°W / 51.5266; -9.5481
CountyCounty Cork
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceV924317
Schull is located on west Cork's Atlantic coast.

Schull or Skull[2] (/ˈskʌl/ SKUL; Irish: Scoil Mhuire or An Scoil, meaning "Mary's School")[2] is a town in County Cork, Ireland.

Located on the southwest coast, in West Cork, the village is dominated by Mount Gabriel (407 m). It has a sheltered harbour, used for recreational boating. The area, on the peninsula leading to Mizen Head, is popular with tourists, and there are numerous holiday homes along the adjoining coast. The village had a population of 693 in 2002.[3] The town's secondary school, Schull Community College, houses one of the only planetariums in Ireland [4] along with a sailing school. Each year Schull harbour hosts the Fastnet International Schools Regatta.


The first recorded place name for this area is “scol”, from a Decretal Letter of Pope Innocent III in 1199 to the bishop of Cork confirming the rights of the bishop of Cork.[citation needed] Both Skull and Skul are used in the Down Survey of 1656-58.[5] Skull is also used in the Grand Jury Map surveyed in the 1790s and published 1811.[citation needed]

The Placenames (County Cork) Order of 2012 lists "An Scoil" as the Irish name for the village, in which "Scoil" is translated from "school".[6] This is attributed by some to a school which was ostensibly located in the area.[7][8][9]

However, others question this derivation, and Gary Dempsey’s thesis "Whispered in the Landscape/Written on the Street, A Study of Placename Policy and Conflict in Ireland from 1946 to 2010”, it is suggested that the "Scoil Mhuire" form dated to 1893 when the parish priest of Schull at the time, Very Rev. John O’Connor (P.P. Schull 1888–1911), who “fancied himself as a historian, misread a latin sentence as referring to a ‘College of St. Mary’ in Skull; in fact, the text referred to a collegiate church in Waterford but the PP had set the ball rolling.”[citation needed]


Schull once had its own railway station. The village was the western terminus of the Schull and Skibbereen Railway, a steam-operated narrow gauge railway; it was closed by CIÉ in 1947. Schull railway station opened on 6 September 1886, closed for passenger and goods traffic on 27 January 1947, and finally closed altogether on 1 June 1953.

In literature[edit]

The book Silver River (2007)[10][11] by Daisy Goodwin includes a section on the efforts of her 3xgreat-grandfather, the Rector of Skull, to help the populace during the Great Famine.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census 2016 Sapmap Area - Settlements - Schull". CSO. 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b Placenames Database of Ireland
  3. ^ - Census 2006, Table 5
  4. ^
  5. ^ William Petty, ed. (1656). Down Survey Maps - Barony of Carbury – via Library of Trinity College, Dublin.
  6. ^ "An Scoil / Skull". Placenames Commission. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  7. ^ Kieran McCarthy, Daniel Breen (2013). West Cork Through Time. Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781445620794. The name is derived from Scoil Mhuire, or Our Lady's School
  8. ^ Con O'Leary (1936). Con O'Leary. p. 173. Schull, named from Scoil Mhuire, the School of Mary, in the sixth century
  9. ^ Joseph A. King (1994). "Ireland to North America: Emigrants from West Cork". K&K Publications. [..] a local school from which some think the village of Schull derived its name.
  10. ^ Silver River, Fourth Estate, 2007
  11. ^ "Review: 'Silver River' by Daisy Goodwin", The Guardian, 17 November 2007
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Saunders, Tristram Fane. "Victoria: what is the truth about the Irish Famine, and who was Robert Traill?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  15. ^

External links[edit]