'Thank you to Vincent Coleman (R.I.P) for contributing these photos from his collection.'
Before the present system of national schools was established in 1831 following the Catholic Emancipation Act the only primary schools in existence were either hedge schools, where teachers were paid by the children attending, or day schools maintained partly by parents and partly by protestant societies.
A Commission of Inquiry set up in 1826 to report on these hedge schools lists the following hedge schools in the parish:
1. In the church in Carracastle a school held by Patrick Gallagher, R.C. Thirty eight pupils attended and the teachers salary of £15 per annum was paid by children.
2. Lavey: Here the school was held in a barn, the teacher being Laurence Duffy. Twenty five children attending and they paid the teachers salary of £4 to £5 per year.
3. Barroe: Here Michael Kelly, R.C. held a school in a barn. Twenty five children attended and one pound five shillings was paid by the children.
4. Rooskey: Charles Shryane R.C. held a school in a small hut. Twenty four children attended and twelve pounds annual salary was paid.
Originally there were six schools in the parish of Carracastle. Cloonfane National School was the first school to be built in the parish. This was in August 1844. This was followed by Tonroe National School in in April 1861, Lecarrow N.S. in June 1866, Rooskey N.S. in November 1866, Derrikinlough November 1881 and Palmfield in 1886.
A new school was opened in Lecarrow on August 3rd 1888. On December 3rd 1889 a new school was opened in Cloonfane and in 1923 a new school was opened in Derrikinlough.
Lecarrow N.S. was amalgamated with Charlestown N.S. (a neighbouring parish) on 11th July 1968. Rooskey N.S was opened in May 1963. On June 30th 1966 Derrikinlough closed it's doors and the children of the area transferred to Rooskey N.S.
In 1979, Cloonfane N.S. was amalgamated with Tonroe N.S. as a first step in the centralisation of the three schools in the Carracastle end of the parish.
The new school Scoil Íosa was opened in 1982, and it replaced the three schools Cloonfane, Tonroe and Palmfield. Rooskey N.S. also amalgamated in later years.