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!! Connaught Journal; Sep 2, 1824 "Galway Schools"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL Galway, September 2, 1824 CATHOLIC FINANCE COMMITTEE Saturday, August 28, 1824 - KEALY, Esq, in the Chair EDUCATION. The following
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 2005
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      Galway, September 2, 1824


      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
      Bible Societies.
      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
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