Dáil Éireann - Volume 132 - 19 June, 1952

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Donegal School District.

Mr. O'Donnell asked the Minister for Education if he will state in respect of each of the years ended 30th June, 1941 to 1951, inclusive, the total number of homes in the Derryloughan National School district, Doochary, County Donegal (Roll No. 10661), and the number of these in which Irish was the language of the home.

Mr. O'Donnell asked the Minister for Education if he will state the total number of children who came to Derryloughan National School (Roll No. 10661), Doochary, County Donegal, for the first time in each of the years ended the 30th June, 1941 to 1951, inclusive, and the number of these in each year who knew Irish only or knew Irish better than English.

Mr. O'Donnell asked the Minister for Education if he will state whether he satisfied himself in each of the years ended 30th June, 1941 to 1951, inclusive, that Derryloughan National School (Roll No. 10661), Doochary, County Donegal, was situated in a district where Irish was generally spoken as the language of the homes.

Minister for Education (Mr. Moylan): With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 10, 11 and 12 together.

I regret that I am unable to give the Deputy the detailed particulars which he has asked for in Questions Nos. 10 and 11. This information was not obtained by my Department from year to year, and cannot now be supplied.

[1593] I assume that the object of the Deputy's three questions in regard to Derryloughan National School is to ascertain whether that school should be registered, under Rule 121 (1) of the Rules and Regulations for National Schools, as scheduled in the Fíor Ghaeltacht.

To warrant registration as a Fíor-Ghaeltacht school three conditions are necessary:—

(1) that the school be situated in a district where Irish is generally spoken as the language of the home; (2) that a considerable proportion of the children coming to school for the first time know Irish only or know Irish better than English; (3) that the teachers are competent to give instruction entirely through the medium of Irish, and that instruction in the various subjects of the school programme (other than English) is so given.

The question as to whether this school fulfilled the necessary conditions has been under review from time to time, and it was found as a result of these reviews that the circumstances did not warrant the registration of Derryloughan National School as a Fíor-Ghaeltacht school.

I am arranging, however, that a further investigation as to whether the conditions for the registration of the school under Rule 121 (1) are now fulfilled will take place as soon as possible.

Mr. O'Donnell: If the Minister has not the statistics asked for in respect of this year, could he give the statistics for past years? Does he agree that, under Rule 121 of the rules for national schools, it is essential that Irish be the spoken language of the home and not necessarily the spoken language of the children attending school from a minority of the homes in the district? In view of that would he reconsider his decision to have the school classified as a Fíor-Ghaeltacht school?

Mr. Moylan: If I understand the Deputy aright, surely if Irish is the language of the home it will be the language of the children going to school.

[1594] Mr. O'Donnell: Of the majority of the homes in the area.

Mr. Moylan: That is what we are trying to do—that is the investigation we are making.

Mr. O'Donnell: It has taken a long time—since 1947.

Mr. Moylan: Every time it has been turned down as a Fíor-Ghaeltacht school because of the fact that Irish was not the spoken language of the home.

Mr. O'Donnell: If we had the figures requested, we could discuss this in more detail.