THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL
Galway, September 2, 1824
CATHOLIC FINANCE COMMITTEE
Saturday, August 28, 1824
- KEALY, Esq, in the Chair
The following letter, addressed to his Grave the Catholic Archbishop of
Dublin by the Coadjutor Catholic Bishop of Clonfert, having been mislaid for
some time, prevented its being read until this day: -
Loughrea, May 28, 1824.
MY LORD - The difficulty which I experienced in procuring the necessary
documents from the several Parish Priests of this diocess, prevented my
complying sooner with your Grace's request. I have at length succeeded, and now
feel much pleasure in forwarding to your Grace the following statement of the
schools established in the diocess of Clonfert, in order that the same may be
transmitted by your Lordship, with those of the entire Province, for the
inspection of The Catholic Association.
In the parish of Loughrea I established two free schools in the year 1818,
under the patronage of the Countess of Clanricarde. We have at least 100 boys
and 100 girls educated in those schools. The boys are taught reading, writing
and cyphering. The girls the same, and in addition all manner of needle-work.
As those schools are established on the most liberal principles, they were
attended for some years by Protestant as well as by Roman Catholic children.
Several of the respectable Protestant ladies of this town visited those schools
at stated times, and in the spirit of conciliation, and truly christian
benevolence, assisted their Roman Catholic sisterhood in giving instruction to
the children, according to the rules of the schools, (framed by the unanimous
consent of Protestants and Catholics.)- Every thing that could excite a
suspicion of jealousy in the minds of either party was carefully excluded from
the schools. No books of controversy allowed and the principles of their
religion taught to each in their respective places of worship after
school-hours. The Protestant children have, however, been withdrawn from the
schools some time since, and most of the Protestant ladies have continued their
visits, for reasons best known to themselves. All I shall say is, that we have
never given them the slightest cause, by deviating from the regulations
originally approved of by themselves. The schools are supported by the voluntary
subscriptions of the inhabitants of every parish, by an annual charity sermon,
and by a liberal donation from the Countess of Clanricarde. We have never
received the smallest assistance from the Kildare-street, or from any other
Bible Society. We are most particular in the selection of the books for the
Besides the free schools, there are nine others in the Parish, where 201
boys and 101 girls are educated, in all manner of useful knowledge suited to
their respective stations in life. These schools are supported by the parents of
the children. - There is a bible school lately established in this town but it
is attended by few, if any, of the Roman Catholics.
In Ballinasloe and Creigh parishes, there are eleven schools, containing
493 boys and 239 girls; of these 259 boys and 120 girls are educated gratis. The
poorest are furnished with books and slates. The expenses are defrayed by the
Roman Catholic Bishop and generously supported by the inhabitants of the town.
The remainder is defrayed by the parents of the children.
In Portumna parish there are three schools, in which are educated 270 boys
and 150 girls. The rent of the town school house is paid by the subscriptions of
the Clergyman of the parish, as also by donation of Lord and Lady Clanricarde.
The master and mistress of the town school are paid by the weekly contributions
of the scholars. The country schools are supported by the parents of the
children. The books are, spelling book, speaker and catechism - no improper
books allowed. The Kildare-street Society sent to the school, upon one occasion,
a present of some books, to which there could be no objection but the Society
never gave any other assistance.
Clonfert, Meileck, and Eyrecourt Parishes - There are 10 schools,
containing 560 boys and 260 girls. Of this number 143 are instructed gratis, in
a school established by a Protestant bishop, of the diocese, on the most liberal
and just principles, as the children are principally Roman Catholic, the
catechism is taught every day by one of the Roman Catholic scholars, as the
master is a Protestant - 140 more are educated in a free-school, supported by
the subscriptions of the Roman Catholic inhabitants of Eyrecourt. All the rest
are paid for by their parents. These schools receive no sort of aid from the
In Ballymacward parish there is one school containing 120 boys and 30 girls
supported by the parents, and by ten pounds a year, given by Bernard Browne,
Esq. of Mounthazel, to pay for the children of the poorest inhabitants of this
In Kirtormur and Laurencetown are four schools, conaining 195 boys and 139
girls. Of this number 120 are paid for by the subscriptions of the inhabitants,
and by a donation from the Parish Priest, the Rev. D.O' Callahan. These schools
receive no aid from the Kildare-street Society. - There are two Bible schools in
said parishes, but attended by a single Roman Catholic child.
The other schools established throughout this diocese, being exclusively
supported by the parents of the children, and not requiring any particular
remark, I deem it quite sufficient to set them down in the following order:
Here follows a list of the several parishes, the number of schools and
pupils, male and female - total 52 schools in 16 parishes - 1,938 boys and 853
I hope this statement will prove satisfactory to that highly respectable,
useful and enlightened body, the Catholic Association, and convince (if the
would be convinced) the maligners of the Roman Catholic Priesthood of Ireland,
that it is not their wish to keep their respective flocks in error or ignorance,
and that if more has not been done, it is to be attributed not to want of
inclination, but resources, in this our impoverished and unhappily divided
After thanks to the Chair the meeting adjourned.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News