HC Deb 07 August 1899 vol 76 cc35-6
Mr. ARTHUR MOORE (Londonderry)

I beg to ask Mr. Attornoy-General for Ireland if anything has arisen between March 28th, 1897, and July 25th, 1898, to alter the legal position of the Commissioners of Education, or that of their tenant, Canon Gregg, in reference to the Roxboro' Road Schools; or have the Commissioners received different advice since it was declared that the land on which the schools are built was inalienable; whether he is aware that the total cost of this school was £1,672, of which £1,640 were presented by the Grand Juries of the County of Limerick, and the County of the city of Limerick; and that the Mayor and Town Council of Limerick protested by formal resolution against the present use of this school as a sectarian institution; is he aware that in the schemes which were drawn up by the Educational Endowments Commissioners for dealing with these premises it was provided that their value should go to promote intermediate education in the City of Limerick, amongst the citizens of all creeds; under what law do the Commissioners of Education grant them at £20 a year to Canon Gregg; in what state of repair are the buildings at present; could he state when they were inspected by an architect on behalf of the Commissioners of Education, and what report did he make; what steps have the Commissioners taken within the last ten years to enforce the covenant to repair, and not to allow the premises to be rendered worthless by its use as a poor school; is it a fact that from the year 1880 to the year 1890 the Commissioners of Education gave the rent of the premises to the tenant for repairs, notwithstanding his agreement to keep them in repair; and how is the money to be made good.


Nothing has occurred between the dates mentioned in the first paragraph to alter the legal position of the Commissioners of Education, who in the reasonable management of this property had let it to Canon Gregg as tenant from year to year. They have not alienated it, as assumed in the question. The Commissioners have not received any advice which was different from that on which they acted in March, 1897. The facts appear to be correctly stated in the second paragraph, except that the resolution of the Limerick Town Council contains no reference to or suggestion of the fact, as alleged, that the premises are used for sectarian purposes. The schemes in question contained provisions for the application of the income from the school premises and from the moneys to be realised by the sale thereof in the promotion of Intermediate Education in the dioceses of Limerick, Killaloe, and Kilfenora. The circumstances under which the school premises were let to Canon Gregg are fully set out in the recitals of the schemes referred to, copies of which were sent from time to time to all persons interested. The Commissioners have acted under the law as administered by the Court of Chancery in reference to the management of trust property by trustees. The buildings were not inspected by an architect on behalf of the Commissioners since Mr. Mitchell made his report in 1892. From the year 1880 to 1890 the Commissioners expended a sum of £188 17s. 6d. on the premises. During the same period Canon Gregg appears to have expended on the premises out of his own money a sum of £160.