§ SIR EDWARD CARSON
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether religious instruction is given to the pupils in all public elementary schools in Ireland, and by whom such instruction is given.
The Commissioners of National Education inform me that under their rules opportunities must be afforded to the pupils in all schools for receiving such religious instruction as their parents or guardians may approve. In vested schools such pastors or other persons as shall be approved by the parents or guardians of the children must have access to them in the school-room for the purpose of giving them religious instruction there. In non-vested schools the patrons or local managers determine whether any, and if any, what religious instruction shall be given in the schoolroom, but if they do not permit it 1252 to be so given, the children whose parents or guardians so desire must be allowed to absent themselves from the school at reasonable times for the purpose of receiving religious instruction elsewhere. Religious instruction is given in nearly all national schools, and in the majority of cases by the teachers of the schools. In a great many cases, religious instruction is also given by the pastors of the different denominations.