HC Deb 05 August 1904 vol 139 cc1218-9

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Armagh Board of Guardians granted a pension of £9 a year to Miss M'Kee, a Catholic assistant teacher, which the Local Government Board refused to sanction: that she was afterwards dismissed without any fault being found; and, if so, whether, seeing that the rules of the workhouse prescribe that prayers should be read to Roman Catholics by a person of their own denomination, and that when Miss M`Kee was dismissed an undertaking was given to the Catholic guardians that the prayers would be read by a pauper inmate pending a fresh appointment, he will state whether the Local Government Board will take steps to have a Catholic female teacher appointed.

(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) The Local Government Board did not refuse to sanction a pension to Miss M`Kee. The guardians proposed to abolish the offices of schoolmistress and assistant teacher, and to grant these officers superannuation allowances, it being understood that the workhouse children should be sent to extern schools. The Board pointed out that, in its opinion, the proposed arrangement was objectionable unless it were satisfactorily shown how children were to be superintended before and after school hours. The guardians subsequently dispensed with the services of Miss M'Kee as assistant teacher and catechist. The Board had no power, however, to prevent them from doing this, and has no power to require them to appoint a successor.