asked the Chief Secretary whether it is in accordance with the rules of the National Board for schoolhouses to be used for political purposes has the national school at Lahardane, county Mayo, been several times used by the Ancient Order of Hibernians recently, and in particular was it so used on the night of Sunday, 4th May, 1913, for a so-called concert, at which large quantities of whisky and porter were consumed, the furniture. and floor broken, and the schoolroom littered with broken glasses and bottles; was the drink supplied from an adjacent public house; and will he direct the attention of the police to the matter and suggest to the Board that the manager should be warned that schoolhouses are not provided for such purposes?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Commissioners of National Education inform me that under their rules no political meetings can be held in schoolhouses, nor can any political business whatsoever be transacted in them. The Commissioners have no information as to the use alleged to have been made of this national school on the occasions referred to, but they have directed their local inspector to inquire into the matter and report the facts.
asked whether the new higher certificate alluded to by the Commissioners of National Education in their circular of April last, which may be awarded to teachers under certain conditions, has any money value attached to it, or does its possession in any way benefit the teachers?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Commissioners of National Education inform me that national teachers of marked ability may be granted higher certificates on the grounds of efficiency and scholarship. These certificates have no monetary value attached to them, but would have weight when questions of promotion of teachers in grade or to junior inspectorships schools were under consideration.