History

• There were a number of hedge schools in the Kilmessan area. ‘Connor’s Field’ near Pike Corner and Ringlestown. In Ringlestown Cross the school teacher was Mr. O Reilly. A Mr. Sheridan travelled around all the farmhouses teaching the children how to read and write. He taught children in Kilmessan and at Garlow Cross and received a penny and a sod of turf from every child.

• Other hedgeschool masters in the area were: Edward Downes, Mr. Steers (a great great grandfather of Fergie Maguire) and a Mr. Moran.
• In 1824 the school of Kilmessan was held in a stable and was attended by 78 Catholics.
• Hedge schools were in existence until May 1842.
• 1842 A new school was built by the parishioners at a cost of £155.
• It was one storey with two classrooms one for boys and one for girls. Between these two classrooms was a two roomed living quarters for the girls’ principal.
• 1846 Kilmessan Boys NS. had 94 pupil on roll. Kilmessan Girls NS. had 76.
• 1858 - 1888 Matthew Englishby was principal of the boys' school for 30 years.
• 1895 Christina Reilly was appointed principal of Kilmessan Girls school for ten years. She was only 20 years old.
• 1904 Mary Sheridan became girls school principal.
• 1908 School was under repair. The parochial hall was being used as the school.
• 1926 The school was rebuilt. There were two new principals - John Coll assisted by Mrs. Keelan. Helena Dwane became the girls' school principal assisted by Ms. Duffy.
• 1935 Brian Fleming became principal of the boys' school.
• 1945 Boys' and Girls' school become amalgamated. Mr. Fleming became principal.
• 1941 Charles O Connor - Principal
• 1977 - 1983 Michaels Farry - Principal
• 1983 - 2009 Peter McMahon - Principal
• 1982 President of Ireland Patrick Hillary paid a visit to Kilmessan N.S.
• 1993 A parents council was established in Kilmessan National School.
• 1993 A new school sanctioned - St. Joseph’s National School Kilmessan.
• 1995 Official opening of the new school.
• 2009 - Present Brian Mullins - Principal
• 2011 - 2012 Major fundraising project launched ‘Kilmessan Parish Project’’ to raise funds for land purchase at rear of school and cemetery.
• 2012 Three acres of land acquired to rear of the school to cater for present needs and future expansion.

School Address:                           Phone: 046 90 25532

St. Joseph's National School,             

Main St.,                                      Email: info@kilmessanns.ie

Kilmessan,

Co. Meath

C15 TE28