HC Deb 03 April 1917 vol 92 cc1130-1W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether Mr. Michael Thornton, principal of Furbough national school, county Galway, now a deportee in England, was arrested and sent out of Ireland by force because of a visit paid by him to the central executive committee of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, which met at the offices of the Gaelic League in Dublin on 17th February last with a view to getting the teachers' executive to obtain the withdrawal of his dismissal by the National Board of Education after his unconditional release from Frongoch; whether this visit of Mr. Thornton's to the teachers' executive which happened to meet in the Gaelic League offices was seized on as a pretext for his rearrest in order to justify the action of the National Board of Education in setting itself up as a legal tribunal to try and condemn teachers on groundless political' charges without evidence; whether he is aware that Mr. Thornton took no part whatever in the rebellion of last Easter, and that his manager, appointed by the Commissioners of Education themselves, could see no reason to dispense with his services after his release from Frongoch or why he should be subsequently deported; and whether he will take immediate steps to repatriate Mr. Thornton and restore him to his school?


There is no foundation for the suggestions in the question as to the reasons for Mr. Michael Thornton's arrest. I have no information as to the matters mentioned in the latter inquiries in the question. As to future action, Mr. Thornton's case will be dealt with on the same -considerations of public safety which relate to the whole question.