Saint Joseph’s National School was built on a one acre site that was purchased in 1963 at the cost of £100. The school replaced the original Culleens National School situated on the N59.
The Irish word for Culleens is Coillini, which means ‘little woods’ and evidence of primary education in this area dates back to the seventeenth century.
Isaac McMahon was one of the first teachers in the Culleens area. He was known as the ‘hunted master’. Patrick Connor succeeded McMahon and he held a hedge school. Conditions were so primitive at this particular time that the school door was placed across the pupils knees in order for them to write! Records show that Culleens National School existed in 1870 and it had an enrolment of 225 pupils and an average attendance of only 50 pupils.
St. Joseph’s National School opened in 1968. It opened as a two-teacher school but had the services of a third teacher in the 1980s and early 1990s. It reverted to a two-teacher status in 1994. It currently has two teachers and fifteen pupils.