HC Deb 27 May 1897 vol 49 c1410

On behalf of the hon. Member for South Donegal (Mr. J. G. SWIFT MACNEILL), I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education (1) whether he is aware that the Council of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, Ireland, offered to the Science and Art Department some Irish antiquities which had formed part of a small museum belonging to the Society located in the city of Kilkenny, and that the Director of the Science and Art Museum, Dublin, wrote in reply that the acceptance of the offer must be postponed for a short time, awaiting the appointment of a superintendent of Irish antiquities in the Dublin Museum; (2) whether he will explain why on the 10th of the same month an official letter from the Science and Art Department, South Kensington, informed Alderman Murphy, of Kilkenny, that they had no intention of accepting the collection; and (3) whether communication to this effect has been made to the Royal Society of Antiquaries, Ireland; if not, what reason can be given for this treatment of a proposal apparently approved of a week before by the Committee of Council on Education.


The offer mentioned in paragraph 1 was made, and was still under consideration of the Science and Art Department, when they received a memorial, largely signed, from the secretary of the Kilkenny museum, protesting very strongly against the proposal. Under these circumstances the Department declined the offer; but, through an oversight their decision was not officially communicated to the Royal Society of Antiquaries.