HC Deb 20 February 1917 vol 90 cc1172-3W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether, and, if so, when an Order was made by the Commissioners of National Education (Ireland), limiting the number of children that may be enrolled as pupils in the Dooega national school, Achill; whether a considerable number of children of the district are, in consequence, deprived of all educational facilities; did a senior inspector, Mr. Smyth, promise some years ago that a new school would be built between Dooega and Ashleam, and, if so, why this promise was not fulfilled; has an Order been made recently by the Commissioners that children attending the Dooega school in excess of a certain number should be sent home; if the manager, the Rev. M. Colleran, P.P., appealed to the Commissioners to permit a few youths who work in Scotland or who help at harvest work at home while their fathers work in England during portion of the year to attend the school during winter and spring months, and why this reasonable request was refused; has the manager requested that all the children of the district be allowed to attend the Dooega school during the War, and that after the War an additional class-room be built; and whether the Commissioners intend to accede to this request?


New enrolments are not permitted in any national school in which the number on the rolls exceeds one-sixth of the total number of square feet in the school-rooms and ordinary class-rooms, exclusive of passages, lavatories, and cloak-rooms. Owing to the overcrowded state of Dooega national school the manager was informed that, so long as older pupils required accommodation, no child under six years should be placed on the rolls as pupil. This can hardly be regarded as seriously detrimental to the educational interests of the locality. The Commissioners of National Education; have no record of any promise by their late senior inspector, Mr. Smyth, that a new school would be built. The site proposed for a new school was not considered suitable. There is no record of such an appeal as that referred to. The manager made a request, through the inspector, that the regulation as to the number of pupils enrolled should not be enforced during the War, but the Commissioners are unable to accede to this request owing to the unsatisfactory hygienic conditions of the school and the danger to the health of the pupils and teachers. The question of enlarging the school or otherwise providing school accommodation for the children of the district will be considered as soon as funds are available.