HC Deb 30 June 1909 vol 7 c386

asked whether school-houses in rural districts in Ireland are available, outside school hours, for residents in those districts to meet for lawful purposes, such as the discussion of land purchase in their district, with the consent of the manager and subject to the security of property; and will no ill consequence result to a teacher who allows such use, whether he is present at the meeting or not?


The Commissioners of National Education inform me that the use of National schoolhouses outside school hours is under the control of the managers, subject to the Commissioners' rules, which provide, amongst other things, that vested schoolhouses are not to be used for any purpose other than education without the special approval of the Commissioners, and that no political meetings are to be held in any schoolhouse. National school teachers have no power to sanction the use of schoolhouses for any purpose outside school hours.


Does not this rule as to obtaining the approval of the Commissioners of National Education practically abrogate all the responsibility of the manager with regard to the use of the school?


No. As the hon. Member knows, certain schoolhouses in Ireland are vested, and others are different in character. The vested schoolhouses may not be used without the special leave of the Commissioners. There is a general rule that no political meetings should be held in any school.