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plishment. The first thing that understand the nature of the struggle strikes the observer is, that just be- now going forward, and the various fore the new Commission was consti- documents already issued bearing tuted, a Report of a remarkable cha- upon it. For instance, we take up a racter had been made by one of the Return to an Order of the House of Chief Inspectors
, with regard to a cer- Commons dated 11th February, 1864, tain class of schools in his districts for (1) copies of the whole of the situate in the province of Munster. Revised Rules recently sanctioned by In this Report, the writer, with an the Commissioners of National Eduapology for being compelled to speak cation ; of any dissents from or pro
unpalatable truths,” and many ac- tests againt the adoption of all or companying statements of the respect any of the above Rules on the part he entertained for the morals and of any of the Commissioners of Naaccomplishments of the ladies resi- tional Education in Ireland, and given dent in the Convents, whose schools in by any of the Commissioners to the were multiplying in number over the Board ; and, lastly, of all memorials lay schools of the country, still in- to his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant veighed in very strong language of Ireland, against the recent changes against those Convent and Monastic in the rules and regulations of the schools, as being carried on with the Commissioners of National Education, design of “extinguishing” all educa- and the replies of the Commissioners tion except such as they afforded thereto. We now for the first time an education properly flavoured with hear of revised rules and recent the ceremonial, and propagative of changes ; so that the ultramontane the doctrines, secular and other, of majority of the Board went very soon the religious Orders. That striking to work after being established in document, which we shall in the Tyrone House. The nature of those sequel fully justify our description of so-called “revisions” will be best exby extract, also contained a promise plained by quoting the memorials and by Mr. Sheridan, its author, that on protests of the supporters of the sysaccount of the gravity of the subject, tem who have been betrayed by he would devote a sufficient portion them. of his time at an early date to an ex The history of the matter may be amination of those convent schools, taken up at the moment when an with a view to a more elaborate re- influential deputation, headed by one port. That Report Mr. Sheridan never of the latest and most enthusiastic drew up; and although, in reply to a converts to the Government scheme, question by Sir Hugh Cairns, the the Bishop of Down, along with a Attorney-General for Ireland' has number of Presbyterian clergymen, stated in the House of Commons, and influential laymen, wait on the that Mr. Sheridan was not forbidden Lord Lieutenant and place in his hand to carry out his design, it is remark a statement which he immediately able that his non-performance of an enclosed to the Commissioners for intention of the kind should corres- their observations, addingpond in time with a change in the composition of the Board, rendering “I have received private letters to the it ultramontane, and, therefore, fa
same effect from persons entitled to much vourable to the convent project. Mr. deference; but their views, as well as those Sheridan was, perhaps, shrewd enough view, may be sufficiently gathered from the
stated by the deputation, during our interto perceive that his new masters contents of the two documents enclosed. would be little pleased with a defence “It will appear that the apprehensions of the “Jaysystem in opposition to thus widely excited, are mainly founded the monastic orders. The genius of upon the 10th paragraph of the rules and the whole scheme had, in fact, altered regulations, printed in 1863, fifth part, within a few months, and what for
under the head of paid monitors, page 17. merly was a line of objection calcu
“ It was also alleged that the addition of lated to satisfy the Government and monasteries to the heading Schools connot offend the Commissioners, it had nected with Convents,' (page 18) was an become flat heresy so much as to
“ It is obvious, from the character of the
persons who have made such representations, This preface will prepare the reader, as well as of the representations themselves, not before familiar with the topic, to that I must wish to be put fully in posses
sion of any observations which the Com The Londonderry memorialists were,
" That memorialists are informed that a The documents referred to by Lord change has been, or is about to be, made in Carlisle are, a memorial of the Ulster their rules by the Commissioners of National National Association, and of the Lon- Education, which, while wholly unnecessary donderry branch of it. The former and uncalled for as regards other schools, contained the following resolutions, wouldfrin memorialists” opinion, have in unanimously adopted at a meeting of tendency to make the Commissioners
, to a the Society, held on the 7th of Janu- great extent, the fosterers and encouragers ary, 1864, in Belfast :
of sectarian and denominational education,
and would be in several respects detrimental • The Committee of the Ulster National Education Association having been specially
to the well-being of the National system. convened to consider what action they should Excellency that the rules relating to Con
“That memorialists would remind your take in consequence of certain alterations
vent schools, as originally framed, limited made by the National Board in the rules
the amount of salary awarded to such schools regarding the training of pupil-teachers and
to a capitation allowance regulated by the monitors, after very full and mature deli
average number of children in daily attendberation, unanimously resolved :1st. That the Model Schools, as
ance; and, while permitting the members training schools for teachers, have been
of the community themselves to discharge eminently successful, and have pre- the salaries of any assistants they might see
the office of teacher, expressly stated that served and exhibited to the country fit to employ should be defrayed by the more thorough examples of the work
community: ing and advantages of the system of
" That for a considerable time past, in united education than any other department of the National School system been allocated by the Board to the payment
contravention of these rules, large sums have has done. “2nd. That to extend to any Na- of monitors and other teachers in Convent
Schools. tional Schools under private patronage the privileges of Model Schools, by mally to declare such schools to be entitled
" That it is now proposed, not only forconstituting them training schools for
to the services of paid monitors, but to proteachers, is virtually to encourage
vide them when very large and efficiently establishments as rivals to those erected at the public expense, and so provide funds of the Board, thus placing them on
conducted with pupil-teachers paid from the a class of teachers trained under the
the same level with those schools in which denominational system, thereby in so
the National system is fully carried out, and far subverting the great principle on
making them in effect. substitutes as prewhich the National system is based. " 3rd. That the recognition, in any schools founded and conducted by the Board.
liminary places of training for the model sense, of the necessity or the propriety of training teachers in National Schools in the strongest manner these farther con
" That memorialists cannot but deprecate under private patronage, involves the
cessions about to be made to Convent schools principle of separate training for children, is fatal to the plan of united
as being at once impolitic and unjust, and education, will unquestionably be used directly tending to imperil the existence of
the National system. as an argument by the opponents of the National system for its subversion, conclusion for the following reasons, which
“That memorialists have arrived at this and ought therefore to be resisted by they beg respectfully to submit to your every legitimate means. “4th. That, impressed with the
Excellency." grave character of the changes referred
The lines printed in italics show to, and seriously alarmed at the intro- the general character of the change duction of an element that seems to be
· which the Twenty Commissioners fatal to the very existence of the
“revision" of the Rules. But principle of united education, the Committee resolve to submit these views to before going further, the importHis Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of
ance of the subject must serve as Ireland and to the Right Honourable our apology for extracting again from the Chief Secretary for Ireland, and the Derry memorial the compact and most earnestly entreat Her Majesty's forcible statement of reasons which representatives not to sanction these the framers have appended to it. They intended changes, but to maintain in- protest against the alterations in questact the great principle on which the
tionNational System of Education for Ireland is based."
* Because Conventual and Monastic
Schools being practically exclusive and de- proceeded to establish the system of nominational, and consequently an obstacle paid monitors in Convent Schools ; to the extension of the National System, they next cut down, as we shall subtheir farther increase is not desirable. It sequently show, the sums spent on is, therefore, in memorialists' opinion, most
the Model Schools proper, to obtain unwise to offer them such advantages as tend directly to their increased establish- larger funds for their policy; and it ment throughout the country, and thus to
was only after a vast deal ‘had been the extension, by meuns of the National Sys. securely accomplished in this directem itself, of another system at variance tion, that they placed a Rule upon with its principles and objects, a result their books justifying their conduct, which seems certain to arise from the grant as appears by an entry under date to Convent Schools of capitation allow- the 21st of November, 1863, which ance, free stock, premiums for extras, paid we take from the Parliamentary Remonitors, industrial teachers, pupil-teach- turn :· Because where such schools are estab
“ Extract from Minutes of the Proceedings lished, they are used, as your Excellency
of the Board of National Education in may by inquiry find, to draw away the pu
Ireland, at their Meeting on the 21st pils from other schools in which the system of
November, 1863. the Board is honestly conducted, thus leading
16. The Commissioners resume the consito the impoverishment or entire closing up of these latter schools.
deration of the Rules and Regulations as “Because from the hostility exhibited by re-arranged, and some further verbal alterathe Roman Catholic prelates and clergy
tions and omissions are made.
66. Ordered–That the Rules, as now altowards the Training and Model Schools of the Board, and their openly expressed tered and arranged, be approved.
66 Mr. Gibson and the Rev. John Hall wish to get the training of Roman Catholic teachers into their own hands, there can be protest against the insertion of the new little doubt but that an attempt will be
Rule (Part IV., section 5, paragraph 10),
viz. :made to use the Conventual and Monastic Schools as Training Schools an object
“In the case of a few very large and which the grant of allowances for pupil
highly efficient schools, the Commissionteachers would greatly facilitate.
ers are prepared to appoint young persons “Because the favour already shown to
of great merit to act as first-class moniConvent Schools having excited the suspi
tors, with a rate of salary somewhat cion and jealousy of some to whom similar
higher than that of paid monitors of the
above grades.'” indulgence has been denied, any extension of exceptional privileges must increase such feelings, and will no doubt be successfully, efficient schools," the reader is to
For “a few very large and highly and with some degree of justice, used as an argument against the National System by substitute the terms, which the Commany of its opponents.
missioners astutely avoid — namely, “ In fine, memorialists object to the pro- Convent and Monastic Schools. Inposed alterations, because not only would deed the grossest part of this unexthey continue and greatly extend a system ampled transaction is their use of based upon principles inconsistent with such phrases as “paid monitors," those of the National System ; but they are of a nature to support and strengthen omission of all reference to the con
superior monitors," and the studied schools which are openly and without disguise used for the overthrow of others ventual establishments, in order to founded by the National Board, and in disguise their real policy and doings which its rules and regulations are bona fide from the public, whose servants they carried out.”
The Derry memorialists fur
ther pronounce those proceedings The third of these paragraphs me- "fraught with danger to the existence rits the close attention of the reader. of the system, and language of the He will learn from it, if he has the same description has been since held least previous knowledge on the mat- by all the independent organs of ter, or has weighed our opening re- opinion in Ireland formerly advomarks, that the step of making the cates of the system. Convent and Monastic Schools train Let us look now at the protests ing-schools for teachers is but a means registered against the exploits of this to an end. The party in whose in- ultramontane majority of the Comterest those changes are made first missioners by a minority of their own got the Board into its hands by ob- number. It will appear conclusively taining a fixed majority; they then from those documents that the public
have not taken up the matter under Regulations which are proposed for the any misconception, or without accu adoption of the Commissioners of National rate information. So far as is known Education, I feel myself called upon to exthe non-content Commissioners were,
press my dissent from any alteration of the
rules relative to the grants made to convent the Lord Bishop of Derry, Dr. P. S.
schools; and at the same time I take occaHenry, the Rev. John Hall, and Mr.
sion to observe that I am of opinion that James Gibson. The latter two may
any revision or alteration of the Rules and have fought against the innovators Regulations of 1855 is inexpedient, inasround the green cloth when the sub- much as such a procedure creates distrust ject was under debate. It cannot in the public mind, and is at variance with be said whether they did or not; that understanding of fixedness with which they were content with a very brief they were compiled and published. and feeble intimation of dissent when “ As it is now proposed to augment the the revolutionary project was com allowances (to convents), by the introducpleted. But our concern is not with tion and payment of pupil teachers, it apthe alleged failure of individuals to pears to me that such augmentation will
countenance and promote to a serious experform with courage and efficiency the duty intrusted to them by the fact that many vested and non-vested
tent the denominational system. It is a religious body to which they belong. schools have been closed by the operation of Dr.
Henry, even, was more outspoken the rule as it now exists; and it cannot be in his protest, though tardy
doubted that, should the amount of aid
already given be increased, this class of "In accordance,” he said, “with views schools will be greatly augmented, the deformerly expressed by me respecting the
extensively inexpediency and great danger of the re- spread by the establishment of additional cent changes that have been made in the
convent schools ; and when they are so rules of the Board of Education, in regard established, the adjacent female schools to conventual schools, I have to request will be seriously interfered with, and in the that my name shall be recorded on the mi
end altogether absorbed. nutes as indicative of my dissent from those
“ This further departure from the princhanges. In my humble judgment ciples of the National system, in favour of the recent changes of rule seriously inter
schools belonging exclusively to one relifere with one of the fundamental principles gious body, will afford a cause of wellon which the system of National Education grounded dissatisfaction to others to whom was founded. After the experience such privileges are refused, thus furnishing of nearly a quarter of a century in adminis- the opponents of the National system with tering the funds of the State in order to sustain a system of united education that has employ to its disadvantage.
an argument which they will not fail to conferred inestimable blessings upon Ire
“Considering that the restrictive rule land, I am constrained, by a sense of public relative to convent schools is a fixed and duty, to express officially my opinion upon fundamental rule, calculated to meet the a question which I regard to be of imperial just expectations of the Protestant and Roimportance."
man Catholic mind, I am of opinion that
its alteration will be a breaking of faith This declaration of opinion is unmistakable. If the younger Commis- connexion with the Board, under the convic
with many who have placed their schools in sioners are all but silent objectors, tion that the National system was clearly and those whose experience goes over unalterably settled; and some of these pernearly the whole period during which sons may be constrained to withdraw from thesystein has been in existence, speak a connexion which has already brought plainly enough. The most important them into collision with their private and protest, however, is that of the Lord political friends. Bishop of Derry. Dr. Higgin, an old
“I am of opinion that the granting of and earnest supporter of the system, pupil teachers to convent schools would be
an admission that these schools are prelimi. puts his pen to paper against it with
nary training-schools, as much so as Model manifest unwillingness. But there Schools, and is therefore to be regarded as is no sign of hesitation in the able the introduction of a new principle, or at letter he wrote on the 6th of Novem- least the changing of a fundamental rule. ber, 1863, whilst the New Rule was “ The model and training schools are not yet finally passed a letter sus under the direct cognizance and control of tained by a second protest on the 4th the Commissioners; and, being so, they are of February, 1864.
the proper places for the training and im
provement of the pupil-teachers. Having considered with much attention" “I have only further to observe that (says his lordship) “the Revised Rules and when, at the request of Her Majesty's Go
vernment in Ireland, I was induced to ac best authority that the number of children cept the office, and undertake the responsin attending schools in Killarney is consider, bilities of a Commissioner of National Edu- ably less than that of those who never enter cation, I did so under the assurance that the a school.” organic rules and regulations of the Board might be considered definitively fixed.” It is true that Inspector Sheridan
pronounced no absolute condemnation Before inquiring what answer the of convent schools, but he pointed Commissioners were able to give to out as defects in their constitution these memorials and protests, when and management, principles, motives, forwarded to them by the Lord Lieu- and practices, which the New Rules, tenant for explanation, let us revert far from modifying, will vastly intento Inspector Sheridan's Report of sify. For instance, he recommended 1861, which possesses peculiar value that a lay superior teacher should be as a document prepared at a time introduced into each convent school, when the subject of the character and under the direct control of the Comworking of convent and monastic missioners (as we understand him), schools was not formally under con- from whom the lady managers might sideration, and when the evil, if evil acquire a proper system of teaching, it was, of subsidizing and encouraging and who would represent in this class them was less in magnitude than now. of schools the spirit of the State sysMr. Sheridan wrote without any very tem. That suggestion, it need hardly apparent or immediate object, what be said, has not been adopted : the his observation and experience had later policy runs quite the other way. taught him. As a Roman Catholic, But hear Mr. Sheridan speak again on and a zealous one, moreover, he was the “intolerance” of the conventan impartial witness, and every word school propaganda :he says on the question goes to support the views expressed by the Bishop
" It is a characteristic of these teachers of Derry and the Ulster memorialists. that they are impatient of competition. A For example, it is stated in the paper rival school, if it can possibly be extindrawn up by the Derry Association, guished, is not allowed to exist. In crowded during the present year, that the cities this is, of course, impossible ; but in effect of showing special favour to Queenstown, Middleton, Skibbereen, Ban
Tralee, Killarney, Newcastle, Kinsale, convent schools will be, to "draw don, Dingle, and a host of smaller towns, away the pupils from other schools in
no female schools, except those connected which the system of the Board is with Convents, are to be found ; none are honestly conducted." Let Mr. Sheri- permitted to be established. In some of dan be heard on this point, in the them, indeed, such as Tralee, Killarney, words of his Report :
Newcastle, and Dingle, in which there are
Monks' schools as well as Nuns' schools, “While there is, undoubtedly, a large even the ordinary male National schools proportion of children that will attend the have been proscribed. schools of religious communities in preference Now, I am perfectly convinced that in to any other, there is always, on the other pursuing this policy these worthy teachers are hand, a not inconsiderable number of chil- actuated by good motives. They have faith dren who would readily attend lay schools, in themselves, as all earnest devoted teachers but cannot be induced to frequent those con have, or ought to have ; and believing conducted by religious teachers. This is a fact scientiously that their own schools are best which cannot be gainsaid. I have an inti- adapted for the proper training of youth, mate knowledge of its truth, and could they consider themselves justified in using readily adduce abundant proof of it. And all their influence to remove other schools let it be understood that I am not alluding out of the way. But to me such a policy to children of different denominations, but appears most objectionable. It savours of only to Catholic children. What is the re
intolerance.” In factthere is no use in sult? When the lay schools are extin. mincing words—it is intolerance ; and, like guished, a considerable portion of the child- every other intolerant policy, the evils it ren of the poor locality receive no education gives rise to are more than sufficient to whatever.
counterbalance the good it is expected to "In the town of Killarney there are two
effect." convent schools and one monks' school for the education of the children of a population
What reply have the Commissionamounting to nearly 6,000 persons. No ers given to the several documents of day school conducted by lay teachers would 1864, before referred to, and to the be tolerated there. Well, I have it on the equally remarkable Report of their