HC Deb 21 April 1890 vol 343 cc959-60

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that from time to time during the last 16 years applications have been made to the Grand Jury of the County Cavan for contributions towards the maintenance of Catholic children from the county detained in Catholic Industrial Schools under "The Industrial Schools (Ireland) Act, 1868,"and that, though the vast majority of cesspayers are Catholics, such applications have been persistently refused, on the alleged ground that a standing order prevented the Grand Jury from contributing to any industrial school; whether he is aware that since 1881 applications for similar contributions to Protestant industrial schools, made in the same statutory form and under similar circumstances, have every year been granted; whether such Protestant industrial schools were described as reformatories in the published Abstract of Presentments, in order to make it appear that the contribution was obligatory, and not, as in the case of industrial schools, voluntary; whether, in their Return to the Inspector of Industrial Schools in Ireland, made in respect of the year 1888, the Grand Jury reported that their contributions to industrial schools were nil, adding in a note"2s. 6d. for schools already on the books," although one of the Protestant schools to which a contribution was made during 1888 had not previously been on the books; whether the attention of the Auditor of the Local Government Board has been called to the matter; if his attention has been called to the statement of the Secretary to the Grand Jury to the Auditor, that the grant had been obtained by the Protestant industrial schools by false pretences, and if he can say on what foundation this accusation was made; and what action the Local Government Board propose to take to secure treatment for Catholic similar to that which has been accorded to Protestant schools?


The proceedings of Grand Juries not being under the control of the Executive Government, I am not in possession of detailed information on the subject of this question. It appears that the Grand Jury did, for a time, contribute to the funds of the Meath Protestant Male and Female Industrial Schools, but that at last Assizes they refused to continue the contribution. The Local Government Board have no control over Grand Juries in regard to their presentments.