HC Deb 19 April 1877 vol 233 cc1438-9

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If, having regard to the Circular addressed in May last by the Education Department to certain School Boards in Scotland as to a proposed Grant in aid of the teaching of Gaelic in Elementary Schools, the Government will be prepared to advise the Commissioners of National Education to institute similar inquiries among the managers of the National Schools throughout Ireland, to ascertain how far such Schools would be ready to avail themselves of a similar Grant in aid of the teaching of the Celtic language in Irish National Schools?


As I have already stated in reply to a former Question of the hon. Member, I cannot admit that any fair comparison can be made between Ireland, Scotland, and Wales as to the extent to which Celtic is the only spoken or printed language known to or used by the people; and I do not, therefore, think it necessary to suggest to the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland that they should institute such inquiries as are referred to. I may add, however, that I believe the Education Department does not propose to make grants for the teaching of Gaelic in Scotland; but in districts where Gaelic is spoken, it allows the intelligence of children, if necessary, to be tested by requiring them to explain in Gaelic the meaning of the passages read; and I have already stated that this practice is followed where required by the Inspectors of the National Schools in Ireland.