The activity in present day Culmullen is situated at the modern day school and adjoining Catholic Church at the junction where the Cultrumer Road meets the Kilcock Road. In the late 18th century, Dr. Plunkett, Bishop of Meath, founded four schools in the parish. In 1824, a school in Culmullen in a thatched house of mud, given by Mr. Dopping, a protestant landlord, was situated at the start of the present day cul de sac leading to Culmullen House. This school, which accommodated 45 Roman Catholic children, interestingly had a programme of instruction which was “reading, writing, arithmetic, the Irish language and Roman Catholicism”. It is the only printed record of Irish as a school subject in south Meath.
In May 1826 the parish priest Fr Leonard, made an application to the newly established Board of Education for a new school on a site leased from Mr Dopping. In accordance with the regulations of the board, he sought the support of the Protestant minister at Knockmark – Rev Henry Liddiard. However, this support was not forthcoming, as the minister stated in his reply that ‘‘In his opinion, the board acted on principles he could not acquiesce to’’. A fresh application was made in 1833; a grant of £50 was forthcoming and the school was finally started in September 1835. The building is still in use today and is known as Culmullen Hall. The present day school was built in 1947 as a two teacher school. It was extended in the 1970s to its present size.
By Neil O’Riordan
Excerpt from the Dunshaughlin and Culmullen Parish 2007 Jubilee Commemorative booklet By Michael Kenny RIP