HC Deb 29 May 1913 vol 53 cc337-8W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether junior assistant mistresses in the Catholic Archdiocese of Armagh, in whose schools the average reached fifty and upwards, have been retained, although the managers received letters from the Commissioners of National Education, asking for their removal, similar to the one received by the manager of Tolerton national school in which Miss Hennessy taught; that these managers, acting on instructions from the higher ecclesiastical authorities, completely ignored the instructions of the Board, and that the now modified Rule 86a was not enforced in the schools of the archdiocese; why did not the Commissioners of Education enforce this rule generally, irrespective of dioceses; whether the same member of the Board who first proposed the sanction of this class of teacher was afterwards responsible for the introduction of this penalising regulation; how many of such teachers were removed from their positions because of this rule, and how many were threatened with dismissal; and will the Commissioners, who, by the enforcement of this rule, insisted on the dismissal of Miss Hennessy after a service of thirty-one years, now insist that she receives the benefit of the modification by having her restored to her former position in Toler-ton school, Roll No. 11,321?


The Commissioners of National Education inform me that Rule 86a which requires that when an average attendance of fifty is maintained in any school a fully qualified assistant must be appointed, is enforced in the Catholic Archdiocese of Armagh as in the rest of Ireland in cases to which the provisions of the rule apply. The proceedings of the Commissioners at meetings of the Board are confidential. The Commissioners are not at present in a position to say how many teachers have been removed or threatened with dismissal owing to the operation of the rule, but inquiries are being made. Miss Hennessy ceased service as junior assistant-mistress in Toler-ton national school in April, 1912, and a fully qualified assistant was appointed to succeed her in accordance with the requirements of Rule 86a. There is no provision in the regulations of the Commissioners under which Miss Hennessy could be restored to her former position in Tolerton school.


asked the Chief Secretary whether he has yet obtained Treasury consent to the monthly payment of Irish teachers' salaries; and, seeing that the Government admit the hardships inflicted on teachers by the quarterly system of payments, will he endeavour to secure a Supplementary Estimate for this purpose at an early date?


I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the question asked on this subject by the hon. Member for East Down on 13th February last, to which I have nothing to add.