History - Kilmessan NS

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• 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 N.S. 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 girl 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.

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