HC Deb 14 July 1884 vol 290 cc898-9

asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council, with reference to the statement that the Department was not bound to teach Gaelic, thereby directly traversing the Report of the Crofters' Commissioners on the point, Whether it is the case that, in the national schools in Ireland, the Irish language has been placed on the List of Special Subjects, or, as it is termed, Extra Branches, with a result fee of 10s. attached; and, if so, why a different rule is presently followed, and apparently meant to be perpetuated, in those parts of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland where Gaelic is the mother tongue?


I do not know to what statement the hon. Gentleman refers; but it is true that the Irish National Board gives a grant for the teaching of the Irish language, and that no grant has ever been made under the Scotch or English Codes for the teaching of Gaelic or Welsh. But the Irish Board admits that all the evidence is against placing the teaching of Irish on the list of extra subjects. I have been making inquiries as to the best means of familiarizing [...] Gaelic-speaking population with English, and as to the desirability of providing teachers who can speak Gaelic, with the object of the better instruction, in English, of Gaelic-speaking children. The question will be fully considered before a new Code is issued.