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Volume 220: debated on Monday 6 July 1874

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asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If his attention has been given to the action of the Roman Catholic priesthood towards the model school at Limerick; and, if so, if he will be good enough to say whether the schools to which the Roman Catholic children have been sent, after withdrawal from the model school, receive grants of any kind from the Board of National Education?

, in reply, said, his attention had been called to the case, and he found that on the 18th of April last the National Board of Education had received a letter from the District Inspector, stating that the Rev. D. Fitzgerald, a Roman Catholic clergyman, had on the 16th of the same month visited the Limerick Model School, inspected the school register, as he was, as a visitor, at liberty to do, and taken with him copies of entries in these books having reference to the addresses of the Roman Catholic pupils' parents, which the rev, gentleman should not have done. It further happened that the master in charge was only locum tenens, and was not conversant with the regulations affecting the privileges of visitors. No further notice had been taken of the matter, until an article appeared in one of the Dublin newspapers: and, in reply to the second part of the Question of the hon. Member, he had to state that he found the number of Roman Catholic pupils in the Limerick Model School was but six less than in the corresponding week of last year; so that the action of the clergyman in question had certainly not interfered with the working of that school. The schools to which the children had been removed, or were said to have gone—the Roman Catholic Seminary and the Monks' School—were not in any way connected with the National Board.