§ Mr. MEAGHER
asked the Chief Secretary if he is aware that a committee has been formed by the county council of Kilkenny, comprised of clergymen of all denominations, magistrates, and county councillors in the Urlingford Rural Dis- 922W trict, to put into operation the compulsory Clauses of the Education Act, for which purpose and to meet the expenses thereof a rate has been struck and sanctioned by the Local Government Board; whether he is aware that the said committee required for their meetings and were granted by the guardians the use of the board-room for the holding of such meetings provided that they did not clash or interfere with the ordinary meetings of the board; and, seeing that the Local Government Board refused to sanction the use of the boardroom for the meetings of the said educational committee, although such meetings are generally held in board-rooms throughout Ireland, whether he will take steps to have this refusal withdrawn?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The facts as-generally stated in the question are correct. A county council have power under Section 3 (5) of the Irish Education Act, 1892, to defray out of the poor rate the expenses of a school attendance committee in their county without the approval of the Local Government Board, and the reference in the question to the sanction of the board having been obtained to the rates struck by the Kilkenny County Council in this respect is not understood. The Urlingford Board of Guardians requested the Local Government Board to sanction the arrangement made by them with the Education Committee, and were informed that the board have no power or authority to sanction this use of the workhouse board-room, having regard to the fact that it has been judicially decided that workhouse premises cannot be used except for purposes connected with the administration of the Poor Law. The Local Government Board have never assented to the use of a workhouse board-room for meetings of a school attendance committee, and if, as stated in the question, such meetings are held in other workhouses in Ireland it is done without the authority or official cognisance of the Local Government Board.