History of Carracastle Schools in Co. Mayo

The present day Scoil Íosa, Carracastle opened in 1982, replacing three other primary schools at Cloonfane, Tonroe and Palmfield.

Back in the early 1800’s, before the present system of national school education was legislated, the only primary schools in existence were either hedge schools, where teachers were paid by the children attending, or day schools funded partly by parents and partly by Protestant societies.

A Commission of Inquiry was set up in 1826 to report on hedge schools and this commission reports that there were several hedge schools in operation in the parish of Carracastle offering primary education.

In Carracastle village there were classes delivered by Patrick Gallagher in the local church. The teachers salary of £15 per annum was paid by the 38 pupils attending.

In Lavey the school was held in a barn, with 25 children attending and they paid the teachers salary of £4 to £5 per year. The teacher there was Laurence Duffy.

In Barroe the school was also held in a barn, taught by Michael Kelly, who was paid one pound five shillings by the 25 children attending.

In the village of Rooskey, Charles Shryane held a school in a small hut, where 24 children attended and £12 annual salary was paid.

In 1844, the first purpose built National School was built at Cloonfane in the parish of Carracastle.

This was followed by the opening of National Schools in Tonroe in 1861, Lecarrow in 1866, Rooskey in late 1866, Derrikinlough in 1881 and Palmfield in 1886.

In succeeding years a new school was opened in Lecarrow in August 1888, in December 1889 a new school opened in Cloonfane and in 1923 a new school was opened in Derrikinlough.

Lecarrow was eventually amalgamated with Charlestown on July 11th 1968. A new school was opened in Rooskey in May 1963 and on June 30th 1966, Derrikinlough closed and the children of the area were transferred to Rooskey.

In 1979, Cloonfane was amalgamated with Tonroe as a first step in the centralisation of the three schools in the Carracastle end of the parish.

Following that, in 1982, Scoil Íosa was opened replacing schools at Cloonfane, Tonroe and Palmfield.