HC Deb 28 June 1904 vol 136 cc1400-1

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the national school in which Mr. Denis Lavelle, Rathview, Dundalk, teaches, was built by himself at a cost of £350; and that he was not refunded any of this when he was compelled to assign his interest to trustees; and, if so, whether special inquiry will be made into this matter.

(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) In 1894 it came to the knowledge of the Commissioners for the first time that this schoolhouse was the property of Mr. Lavelle. The manager was thereupon informed that no further payment of salary could be made so long as the schoolhouse remained the property of the teacher contrary to the provisions of the rules, and until the Commissioners received satisfactory evidence that he had ceased to have any interest in the premises. The manager replied that if the rules prohibited the ownership of schoolhouses by teachers it would be unreasonable to ask that an exception should be made to them in the present instance. He added that Mr. Lavelle I had called on him and expressed his willingness to resign or assign his interest. Some further correspondence ensued and the teacher adopted the "latter course. The rules bearing on this matter have always been rigidly enforced by the Commissioners and were rendered necessary by the occurrence of many and gross irregularities. The schoolhouse of which Mr. Lavelle is the teacher is a non-vested building in which the Commissioners have no interest whatever. They are not aware whether he received any consideration from the persons to whom he transferred the premises beyond the privilege of continuing to be recognised as teacher. He surrendered the house to secure the continuance of his salary, and the question of compensation or a refund by the Commissioners does not arise. The matter is entirely one between himself and the local trustees who now own the house.