HC Deb 28 June 1883 vol 280 cc1699-700

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the case of the late Mr. John Bonnar, who died on the 22nd of March of this year, aged 64 years, after having taught in the Rooskey National Schools, county Donegal, and Strabane district for forty-two years, having been appointed in 1841, and being in the first class; whether Mr. Bonnar was within a few months of being able to retire on full pension for first class; and, had he not died suddenly, would have applied for the retiring allowance of about £300; whether he is aware that his widow and two young sons are left altogether unprovided for; and, whether the fact of his having served forty-two years, being in the first class, and entitled to the fore- going amount of retiring allowance, together with the fact of his widow and his two little children being without means, would entitle him to recommend the Commissioners to grant some assistance to Mr. Bonnar's family?


I have made inquiry into this case, and find that Mr. Bonnar died in March last, having completed his 63rd year. Had he lived, and voluntarily retired from the Service at that age, he would have been entitled to a pension of £49 per annum; but the hon. Member is mistaken in supposing that he could have claimed a bulk sum, either of £300 or any lesser amount, as the Act gives no power to grant a gratuity to a teacher over 54 years of age, or to commute a pension. Nor does the Act give any power to make grants to the families of deceased teachers, and nothing except an alteration of the Act will enable me to recommend the Commissioners to deal with this case.