HL Deb 21 June 1842 vol 64 cc271-2
The Archbishop of Armagh

presented petitions from the bishops and clergy of the diocese of Lismore and other dioceses, against the system of national education in Ireland, and praying that Government support might be given to the Church (of England) Education Society in Ireland. The petition from Lismore was signed by the bishop and seventy-three of the clergy; that from Elphin was signed by forty-one out of forty-eight of the clergy. The whole four had the signatures of 441 clergymen. He must bear his testimony to the respectability of the Church Education Society, and to its great and increasing utility. There were not fewer than 1,200 schools belonging to it, giving instruction to 70,000 scholars, of whom more than 20,000 were Roman Catholics. He hoped that a society possessing so many claims to support might receive some aid out of the public funds.

The Marquess of Downshire

fully concurred in what had fallen from the most rev. Prelate as to the great respectability and utility of this society. He was friendly to education on sound principles wherever given, but he would not support a society which acted on any exclusive plan as to the admission of scholars; but he was happy to find that no such exclusive system was practised in this society, in which, out of 70,000 scholars, more than one-fourth were Roman Catholics. He was of opinion, that support should be given to this society out of the public funds.

Petition laid on the Table.

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