Dáil Éireann - Volume 214 - 02 March, 1965

Committee on Finance. - Vote 29—Office of the Minister for Education.

Minister for Education (Dr. Hillery): I move:

That a supplementary sum not exceeding £210,330 be granted to defray the charge which will come [1195] in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1965, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Minister for Education (including Institutions of Science and Art) for certain Miscellaneous Educational and Cultural Services, and sundry Grants-in-Aid.

The additional sums being provided in this Supplementary Estimate are required for the following purposes:—

A.1—Salaries, Wages and Allowances : Provision is made in the Supplementary Estimate for payment of the general increases in salaries allowed with effect from 1st February, 1964, the ninth round, and also for certain status increases with effect from 1 January, 1964. The increases result from agreed recommendations or awards under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for civil servants.

A.2—Travelling and Incidental Expenses: The excess in the subhead is occasioned by improvements allowed, subsequent to the preparation of the original estimate, in the terms of recoupment of travelling, subsistence and removal expenses. These improvements were in accordance with agreed recommendations made by the General Council of the Civil Service Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme. The relevant regulations were issued in June and July, 1964, and had retrospective effect to different dates, 1st April, 1962, 1st January, 1964, and 1st April, 1964.

A.3—Post Office Services: These services are provided by the office of the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs on a repayment basis. The extra cost has been attributed by that office to the higher public postal charges in force since 1st June, 1964, and to certain other increased charges arising from pay increases to members of the staff.

C.1—Purchase of Specimens: The increase of £5,600 in the Grant-in-Aid under this subhead to the National Museum arises from the purchase of a large silver two-handled porringertype bowl (Richard Smart, Cork, about 1675) which was among a collection of Irish silver auctioned at Messrs. Christies, London, in December last. It [1196] is a very important early piece of Irish provincial work and bidding for it was extremely keen. It was necessary to bid up to £5,600 to secure it for the Museum. In this connection I may say that prices for all works of art have been increasing steadily over the past few years and the price of this important and early piece of silver was merely in consonance with current market values.

F.3—Grants to Colleges providing Courses in Irish : The extra sum required reflects the continuing increase in the number of students attending courses in the colleges in recent years. The extent of the increase has been such as to cause an excess in the original estimate for the subhead in each of the last three financial years. In 1961/2 expenditure was over £29,000 as compared with the estimate of £25,000, and in 1962/3 the expenditure was £36,600 approximately, when the estimate was £35,500. The estimate for 1963/4 at £39,000 was exceeded by over £2,300. The original estimate for 1964/5 was put at £44,000 but expenditure is now expected to reach £47,000. This upsurge in the numbers attending the courses is very gratifying and I feel confident that it will be maintained.

The number of students in respect of whom grants were paid increased from 8,726 in the financial year 1961/2 to 10,700 in 1963/4, while the number of colleges providing courses in Irish increased from 20 in 1959 to 35 in 1964.

F.4—Grants to Periodicals published in Irish and Newspapers publishing current news in Irish: The additional provision under this subhead is required to enable a payment to be made to the Irish weekly Inniu to meet certain debts due to increased costs because of increases in salaries consequent on the 9th round and certain other increases in charges such as for postage and telephones. Inniu employs a relatively large professional and editorial staff and I am satisfied that this extra assistance being allowed is fully justified.

F.5—Irish Folklore Commission: The additional provision is required to [1197] meet the increased cost of salaries and wages consequent on the ninth round increases.

F.7 — Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge : The extra money being provided in the supplementary estimate is intended to meet increased charges for salary and office expenses, including salary increases due to the ninth round, as well as certain other increased costs arising for An Chomhdháil from its various activities. I am satisfied that this extra sum is required to enable it adequately to discharge its functions in the present financial year.

G.1—Royal Irish Academy : In this case also the increased provision is required to meet ninth round salary and wage increases.

G.4—Adult Education Courses: The additional sum of £800 is required for the purpose of a grant to the Dublin Institute of Catholic Sociology towards meeting a deficit in the Institute's running expenses in the year 1963/4. The Institute has for ten years been supplying adult education to an ever increasing number of students through courses ranging from Industrial Relations, Trade Unionism, Economics, Public Speaking to Social Science. In particular, it conducts two Diploma Courses: (a) A Diploma in Social Science—a three year course, and (b) A Diploma in Industrial Relations—a two year course.

In 1963/4 it had 1,181 students on its rolls and a weekly class attendance of 1,300.

The Institute explained, in connection with its application for aid from the Department of Education, that it had exhausted all possible sources of obtaining the revenue it needed to continue its work, that it had been operating on an overdraft for a long time and that the students' fees could not be further increased.

I am satisfied that the Institute is doing very useful work in the field of adult education and I consider that it should be supported in its efforts by the making of this financial grant to it.

G.8—Scientific Research Grants to Students: These grants are awarded on the recommendation of an advisory committee on which are representatives [1198] of the Department of Education and the Universities. A meeting of the committee is held each year in October or November to consider the applications received and to make recommendations in relation to the making of the awards and the operation of the scheme. Having regard to the fact of a significant increase in the number of highly qualified applicants in 1964 and to the recommendations of the advisory committee, I considered it was necessary to increase the original provision for these grants made in the Estimate for 1964/5. The extra provision allows for the making of a greater number of awards and for an increase in the value of some of the individual awards.

G.11—Expenses in connection with organised Educational Tours etc.: Educational courses and seminars, to which I attach considerable importance, have been organised in recent years for Irish teachers in the United States of America. The Department of Education made a grant of £1,500 towards the cost of the project for the first time in the financial year 1963/4 and a similar provision was made in the Estimate for 1964/5. Representations were subsequently made to me, however, that, because of certain organisational arrangements, the cost of the course to the Irish participants would be greater in 1964 than in 1963. On consideration of these representations I was satisfied that a grant of £3,000 was in all the circumstances called for. A supplementary provision of £1,500 under this subhead is, therefore, necessary.

G.13—Muintir na Tíre (Grant-in-Aid): Following publication by Muintir na Tíre of the document “A Plan for Community Development in Ireland,” the organisation sought a Government grant to enable it to undertake the work envisaged in that plan. After full consideration of the matter it was decided to give for organisational purposes a subvention of about £5,000 for a few years, during which the organisation could strengthen itself and improve its membership and its finances, so that it could carry on without a grant thereafter.

H.—Deficiency in Appropriations in Aid: It had been anticipated that the final agreed instalment of £2,700 from [1199] OECD in respect of its share of the cost of the survey in relation to investment in education in this country might possibly have been received before 31st March, 1965. As, however, the survey has not yet been completed, payment of the final instalment will not have been received in the present financial year and this amount has now been credited instead to the estimate for 1965/6.

With regard to the following Supplementary Estimate for Secondary Education, the sum of £80,000 is the additional amount required in the current financial year to defray the cost of increased scales of incremental salary which are being introduced for secondary teachers with effect as from 1st November, 1964. The increased scales arise from an agreed recommendation of the Conciliation Council for these teachers.

Following the introduction of the new scales, the “standard salary” of a secondary teacher, that is, the incremental salary paid by the Department, plus the minimum of £200 per annum, called the “basic salary”, paid by the school—ranges from £840 to £1,600 in the case of a married man and from £670 to £1,270 in the case of a woman or a single man. The special increment which is payable in addition to standard salary in the case of a teacher holding an honours degree or equivalent has been increased from £65 to £110 per annum.

This increased level of remuneration for secondary teachers has been authorised pursuant to the policy which was stated towards the end of 1963 and which indicated the Government's willingness to consider further status improvements for teachers to be achieved over a reasonable period.

On Vote 32, Vocational Education, the additional Estimate of £129,000 is, as Deputies will observe, divided over three subheads. The greatest amount is in respect of an increase in the annual grants to vocational education committees. The provision here arises from ninth round salary increases granted to teachers and other officers of vocational education committees. Committees' estimate of financial requirements for a particular [1200] financial year must be completed before 1st December of preceding year, and State grants to the committees are decided in relation to those estimates. The ninth round of salary increases, however, was sanctioned on 1st April, 1964, with effect from 1st February, 1964, and so it is now necessary to make payments to committees in excess of what was provided for in the original estimates. The State grant in this instance represents one-third of the additional cost falling on the vocational education committee as a result of this particular award.

The House is being asked, also, to agree to an increase of £300 in the grant-in-aid to Macra na Tuaithe, for which an amount of £4,000 was included in the original estimate for the current year. The grant is to assist Macra na Tuaithe in their educational work among the young people of the countryside, and the increase of £300 now sought arises from the additional costs in salary and administration attributable to the ninth round of salary increases.

The final item of £3,000 is on the subhead for examinations. The number of candidates at the various examinations held under the Technical Instruction Branch of my Department was rather substantially higher than had been expected when the original estimate was prepared, with a corresponding increase in the examiners' fees and in the cost of travelling and subsistence for those examiners who conduct oral and practical tests.

Vote 34, Universities and Colleges and Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, is required:

(a) to make provision for increases in salaries in accordance with the provisions of the ninth round for the staffs of the National University, and its Constituent Colleges, Dublin, Cork and Galway and for the staffs of Trinity College and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, and

(b) to enable an increase to be made in the grant originally provided for the Dublin Dental Hospital.

The amount of the ninth round increase [1201] is that shown in the relevant subhead of the Supplementary Estimate except in the case of UCD and UCC. The actual cost of this increase in the case of UCD is £85,000 but this amount is offset to the extent of £60,000 saving in part (4) of the subhead due to the fact that because of the strike in the building trade last autumn progress in building operations at Belfield was not as great as anticipated. The estimated cost of the ninth round increase for the staff of UCC is £32,500. A saving of £9,000 on the estimated cost of the site works for the new science building reduces the over-all charge to the subhead to £23,500.

The additional amount for the Dublin Dental Hospital is mainly required for equipment and structural building alterations work, the cost of which could not be accurately estimated at the time of the preparation of the original estimate.

Mr. S. Dunne: Nach bhfuil focal Gaeilge le chloisint?

Mr. P. O'Donnell: We will get that i nGaeilge from the Laboratory at Gormanston, later on. This Supplementary Estimate amounts to £464,400 and having heard the Minister's statement, we find that the great bulk of this money is required for additional salaries in connection with the ninth round. It is exactly two years ago since the Taoiseach in this House informed us that there must be a standstill on wages. Within two months, the Minister for Finance came into this House and, in a very quiet tone, informed us that there would be a 2½ per cent turnover tax which would not affect the cost of living. Then he found that the cost of living had risen so steeply that it was necessary to give this ninth round 12 per cent increase in salaries. Even then, the Minister did not see what it would cost the country and hence we have this Supplementary Estimate for almost half a million pounds. I take no exception to it whatsoever in so far as it is necessary for the increase in salaries to bring them in line with the ninth round but there are a [1202] few matters to which I should like to refer.

I am very glad indeed to see that additional grants are being made available to colleges for providing courses in Irish. I wonder what types of courses in Irish are envisaged for these students attending colleges or what Irish they will be taught. Is it the Irish of Ulster, the Irish of Padraic Ó Conaire in the west or the Irish of the late Seabhach in Kerry, or is it this Irish invented by the civil servants? I saw the Minister recently on television and first I must compliment him on his appearance and on the manner in which he put across what he had to say but I heard him say that the cradle of Irish will no longer be the Gaeltacht but will be a laboratory in Gormanston College down in County Meath.

Mr. S. Dunne: A brave new world.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: That is now the cradle of Irish.

Dr. Hillery: Lest anybody should believe the Deputy, I did not say that.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: I was listening to the Minister and watching him carefully. Mind you, he had difficulty in getting his say in there because Deputy Faulkner certainly did not like it. Deputy Faulkner knows where the cradle of Irish lies. It lies in Gweedore, Rannafast and other parts of Donegal, in Connemara in the west and down in Kerry.

Dr. Hillery: Do I not create enough trouble for myself without the Deputy creating more for me? I did not say that.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: The Minister is the last for whom I should like to create trouble—and that goes for himself and a good many of his Departmental staff. However, I was amused to hear on television that when this laboratory is in full swing, the Irish language will be on the move again. That is one of the matters to which I take exception.

The second is this. We are all complaining about the lack of money for [1203] scholarships. Actually, the Six-County Government provide five times as many scholarships in the Six Counties as we do in the Twenty-six. A scholarship per year does not cost a lot— about £300 or £400. But when I see the Minister bring in a Supplementary Estimate here asking this House to provide £5,600 for the purchase of a large silver two-handled porringertype bowl——

Mr. S. Dunne: It is like a line of poetry.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: ——I cannot but wonder how many scholarships that amount of money would provide for the unfortunates who know nothing but the stirabout pot and are depending upon it for a primary, secondary and university education.

Mr. S. Dunne: Are things that bad down there?

Mr. P. O'Donnell: Imagine a sum of £5,600 for a large silver two-handled porringer-type bowl. It will be hidden in the back of the museum. It will never be filled with anything but dust.

Mr. S. Dunne: The same as Shaw.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: That is what we are asked to do in these days when we are all bemoaning the lack of funds for scholarships. That is one of the items we are being asked to subscribe to, not in the annual Budget or Estimate, but in a Supplementary Estimate. We are told there was great difficulty in procuring this valuable— I do not know whether to call it “instrument” or “container”——

Mr. S. Dunne: Utensil.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: That would be the proper word. We are told we had to bid up to £5,600. I wonder who was bidding against us? I am sure it was not any of the smaller nations or countries but some millionaires trying to procure it for their sideboards—if it is something someone does place on a sideboard or underneath it—but, certainly, I think we are going from the sublime to the ridiculous, in these days [1204] when we are all asked to tighten our belts, when we go to this trouble to secure such an item. It is an Irish provincial work but it does not say by whom—yes, a Corkman, Mr. Richard Smart.

Dr. Hillery: This is a bad time to offend the Cork people.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: I do not offend them. I have the greatest respect for them but I wonder whether this man was a native of Cork or one of the smarties who came into Cork. That is the only criticism I have to make on the Supplementary Estimate. As far as the ninth round is concerned, the Minister has no option but to pay.

I did not hear a great deal of detail regarding the subhead in respect of the universities. I see on page 2 of the Estimate, as furnished to us, a grant for general purposes to the National University of £3,500. I do not think that any great detail was given in regard to that. I may be wrong in saying that but if the Minister could refer me to the particular page in which details are given of that item, I should be very glad. It says there is £3,500 for the National University; UCD, £25,000; UCC, £23,000; UCG, £24,000; Trinity, £78,000 and the Dental Hospital £100,000. I think we have no details of this.

Dr. Hillery: There is an organisation and, I think, a staff called National University as distinct from the separate Colleges, and it was the effect of the ninth round——

Mr. P. O'Donnell: I agree with that. I am wondering what the £25,000 for UCD is and under subhead F we find under a Trinity College grant towards secular education, the additional sum required is £78,000. I do not understand what that is for. If it is the ninth round it seems very large in comparison with what is allocated to the other university colleges. I refer to the Estimate as circulated under the heading “Universities and Colleges and Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.” These global figures are given but there is no breakdown.

[1205] Dr. Hillery: These all relate to the ninth round, as I explained in my introduction.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: But it is very difficult to understand why Trinity should be more than three times the others. I do not think the employees whether academic or otherwise of Trinity would exceed by three the number in other colleges.

Dr. Hillery: I explained that in my introductory speech.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: Can the Minister give the page on which he explained it, please?

Dr. Hillery: I said there was a saving on parts of UCD because of the building strike——

Mr. P. O'Donnell: Then you saved this in so far as UCD is concerned?

Dr. Hillery: And in the case of Cork also.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: And Galway, I presume?

Mr. Donegan: They are all net figures.

Dr. Hillery: I said that the amounts were in respect of the ninth round. In the case of UCD, the actual cost was £85,000——

Mr. P. O'Donnell: There was a saving on account of the building strike. That is quite in order but it does seem a considerable sum of money to pay towards the employees, academic or otherwise, of Trinity, this £78,000, as the ninth round. And that deals only with secular education. I understand there is a Divinity Faculty in Trinity but, evidently, we do not contribute towards that. It does seem a very high figure but if the Minister tells us that is the figure, we have no option but to accept it. We have nothing further to say on the Supplementary Estimate.

Mr. Treacy: Molaim an Meastachán Forlíonta seo agus is ceart dom cúpla focal a rá in ár dteanga [1206] dhúchais. Is cúis ionadh dúinn nár labhair an tAire as Gaeilge ar an ócáid seo mar tá dualgas orainn go leir ár ndíceall a dhéanamh chun an teanga d'aithbheóchaint, agus í a labhairt gach uair is féidir agus cultúr na nGael a chur san áit is dual dó i saol an náisiún. Go mór-mhór tá dualgas ar an dTeach agus ar an Roinn Oideachais úsáid do bhaint as an nGaeilge gach uair is féidir i nDáil Éireann.

With how much more enthusiasm we in the Labour Party could support this Supplementary Estimate if it provided for more things than mere salary increases arising out of the ninth round. It is truly lamentable that the Minister did not avail of this occasion to include provision for bringing about some of the radical changes required in our educational system. I know the main Estimate will be coming up in due course but still the defects of the system are so blatant and the urgency of reform so evident that we expect the Minister to avail of every opportunity to provide essential moneys to bring about the changes we so much desire in order to ensure that every child will be afforded an opportunity of going on to post-primary education.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Deputy will appreciate that these are Supplementary Estimates and only what is contained in them may be discussed.

Mr. Treacy: I appreciate that. Yet, moneys are provided for the various branches of education, primary, secondary, vocational and university.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: That does not open a wide discussion. The Deputy is in order only in referring to what the money is provided for.

Mr. Treacy: I appreciate I am limited in regard to what I may say in respect of these Supplementary Estimates. Still, we can express regret that they did not contain these more essential features and provide for the more compelling needs of parents and children.

There are features of these Estimates which we support enthusiastically, such as the amount of money provided for [1207] the extension of adult education courses. Those who availed of these courses have nothing but the highest praise for the university authorities and the vocational committees who facilitated these extra-mural courses attached to the various universities. It was Dr. —now, I think, Monsignor— O'Rahilly who was primarily responsible for initiating these adult education courses. They have been widely availed of by trade unionists, by young farmers and by many other categories of our people. Many of us owe the degree of education we possess today to the facilities provided in these courses for the learning of such important subjects as sociology, economics, accountancy, public speaking, chairmanship and all these important subjects. So that the provision of money for these courses is something we support enthusiastically, especially for the Dublin Institute of Catholic Sociology.

I realise that the Minister's main Estimate will be coming to the House in due course, that the scope of the debate on that occasion will be wider and that we will have an opportunity of putting forth Labour's policy on education. Suffice to say that we support the Supplementary Estimate in its present form and express the hope that when the main Estimate is being introduced the Minister will ensure that the schools of technology, the break-through in our university system, the extension of the scholarship system, the erection of schools of technology and all the things to which we aspire will be brought at least a step forward.

I opened my remarks in Gaelic, expressing my surprise that the Minister for Education did not see fit to speak in Irish on the occasion of the introduction of the Supplementary Estimate.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: In fairness to him, he usually does.

Mr. Treacy: At the same time, I am entitled to comment on the fact that Irish was not spoken when the Estimate was introduced and that it is not a good augury for the revival of the language if on an Estimate for Education, with which one usually [1208] associates the language, Irish is not spoken.

By and large, we support the Supplementary Estimate and all that it contains and look forward to the introduction of the main Estimate in due course which we hope will contain most of the features of Labour's policy on education.

Seán Ó Ceallaigh: Is léir ón méid cainte a rinne an Teachta O'Donnell nuair a bhí sé ag cur síos ar an dTeanglainn i gColáiste Rinn Mhic Ghormáin nár thuig sé brí na h-oibre atá ar siúl ann ná an cuspóir atá taobh thiar de. Is léir, freisin, nar éist sé go cruinn ná go cúramach leis an Aire nuair a bhí sé ag labhairt ar Thelefís Éireann agus nár thuig sé an rud adúirt sé ach chomh beag.

Ní dúirt an tAire nuair bhí sé ag labhairt ar an dtelefís go raibh sé de chuspóir aige féin ná ag an Roinn Oideachais deireadh a chur le Gaeilge na Gaeltachta, mar dúirt an Teachta O'Donnell. Ní chreidfeadh duine ar bith go ndéarfadh an tAire a leithéid. Dá dtugadh an Teachta O'Donnell cuaird ar Choláiste Rinn Mhic Ghormáin do chífeadh sé an saothar mór atá ar siúl ann agus dearfainn go mbeadh a mhalairt de thuairim aige.

Nuair a bhíonn duine ag cur síos ar rudaí mar sin sa Tí seo, rudaí nár dheineadar iarracht ar bith dul isteach iontu, ná a mbrígh ná an cuspóir atá laistiar díobh do thuiscint cad is féidir a rá ina dtaobh?

Dúirt an tAire gur caitheadh breis airgid le ceithre nó cúig bliana anuas ar na cúrsaí Gaeilge a bhíonn ar siúl gach Samhradh sna Coláistí Gaeilge. Tá dhá nó trí Coláistí Gaeilge i dTír Chonaill; tá siad i gCiarraí, i nGaillimh, i gContae an Chláir, in Árainn agus in aiteacha eile agus is aoibhinn liom a chloisint go bhfuiltear ag caitheamh breis airgid ar na cúrsaí iontu. Ní Gaeilge Rinn Mhic Ghormáin a mhúintear ins na Coláistí céanna ach Gaeilge na Gaelteachta. Is aoibhinn liom a rá go dtéann micléinn go dtí na Coláistí sa Ghaeltacht, agus ón bhaint a bhíonn agam leo, is féidir liom a rá go mbeireann na daoine óga roinnt mhaith Ghaeilge abhaile leo.

[1209] Nuair a bhíonn Teachtí áirithe ag cur síos ar Mheastachán sa Tí seo ní mór dóibh léirscrios a dhéanamh air. B'fhearr i bhfad léirmheas cruinn beart macánta a dhéanamh neithe den tsaghas so in ionad bheith ag scigireacht faoin méid airgid a caitheadh ar chorn ársa airgid a fuarthas don Iarsma lainn anso láimh linn. Táim cinnte dá gcuirtí ar cheant ar maidin é go ndéanfaí brabach nó sochar air.

Tá mé lántsasta leis an bhFó-Mheastachán agus an méid atá á lorg ag an Aire. Níl mé chun é a cháineadh toisc nár labhair sé Gaeilge nuair a bhí sé á thúirt isteach aige sa Tí. Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil spéis sa Ghaeilge aige. Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil sé dílis don Ghaeilge. Dá dtugadh sé Meastachán isteach sa Tí i nGaeilge ar fad, n'fheadar an mó Teachta a bhíonn ina suí ar an taobh thall nó ar an dtaobh i bhfos a thuigfeadh cad a bheadh ann.

Is breágh an rud ar fad tabhairt fé dhuine toisc ná labhrann sé Gaeilge. Ní dhéanfidh mise amhlaidh. Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil gá leis an dá theangain. Is suarach an rud é go mbéifí ag tabhairt fé dhuine ar bith toics ná labhair sé ábhairtín beag Gaeilge i dtosach an mheastacháin agus Béarla breágh léannta do radadh chugainn ina dhiaidh.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: Is cuimhin liomsa tráth nuair a bhí Gaeltacht i gContae an Chláir. Cár imig an Ghaeltacht sin?

Seán Ó Ceallaigh: Tá sí ann fós.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: Cá bhfuil sí?

Seán Ó Ceallaigh: Cé chuir deireadh léi agus conas a cuireadh deireadh léi? Tá an scéal sin le léamh i dTuarascáil an Tí seo. Duine de mhuintir Fhine Gael a bhí mar Aire ar Roinn an Oideachais an tráth úd. Dhein sé scrios ar an nGaeltacht sin. Tá an scéal sin le léamh. Téi go dtí an Leabharlann. Tá a fhios agam an fá a bhí leis agus fá beag suarach ab ea é— toisc go raibh an Clár dílis, ní h-amháin don Ghaeilge, ní h-amháin do shaoirse na tíre, ach don Taoiseach a bhí againn.

[1210] Mr. P. O'Donnell: Cén áit a bhfuil an Ghaeltacht ann?

Seán Ó Ceallaigh: Tá Gaeilgeoirí ann.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: Cén áit a bhfuil an Ghaeltacht?

Dr. Hillery: Chuir sibhse deireadh leis an nGaeltacht ann.

Seán Ó Ceallaigh: Léi na tuairiscí agus déan staidéir ar an léirscáil. Tar liom go Contae an Chláir. Caith tamall ann agus geallaimse go bhfeicfidh tú go bhfuil daoine ann a d'fheádfadh tú a dhalladh le Gaeilge, rud nár ró-dheacair a dhéanamh.

Mr. T. O'Donnell: I do not wish to detain the House very long but there are one or two headings in this Supplementary Estimate on which I should like to comment.

First, subhead G. 13 on page 8 of the Minister's speech refers to a subvention of £5,000 to Muintir na Tíre in relation to plans for community development. I welcome this subvention which is to enable Muintir na Tire to reorganise itself. I had seven or eight years' close contact with Muintir na Tíre prior to my entry to this House and I am very well aware of the tremendous potential it has for promoting the economic and social well-being particularly of the people who live in rural Ireland.

When this plan for community development was submitted to the Taoiseach some months ago, I directed a question to him asking him to make a statement on the matter and I was rather surprised that the question was replied to by the Minister for Education because, of course, Muintir na Tíre is not purely an educational organisation: it deals with economic and social matters as well. However, I am very glad that this subvention, which I hope is only an initial one, is being handled by the Department of Education because community development is new to this country in its terminology. What is known to UNO, UNESCO and the various other international bodies as community development was preached 30 years ago by the late Canon Hayes. [1211] What Canon Hayes had in mind was to organise the local community and to channel its latent potential into projects for the economic, educational and social betterment of the rural community.

I understand that Muintir na Tíre will be paying particular attention to leadership training and community education. I have devoted a good deal of study to this question of community development and I believe the two basic prerequisities for successful community development are: (a) leadership training and (b) community education. I have the greatest confidence that the Muintir na Tíre organisation will prove worthy of this subvention and I am quite sure it will be money well spent. It is a good thing that having this financial assistance, Muintir na Tíre will not be depending, as they have been for so long, on voluntary workers. I hold the view strongly that voluntary effort can be carried too far. It is recognised by community development workers all over the world that you can go a certain distance through voluntary effort but that assistance from the State or local government is then necessary.

Deputy Treacy referred to Subhead G. 4, the subvention to the Dublin Institute of Catholic Sociology towards meeting the deficit in the Institute's running expenses for the year 1963/64. I spoke on a previous Estimate on this question of adult education of which, like community development, I have had a great deal of personal experience. The House voted money to the Catholic Workers College on a previous occasion and, as far as I am aware, this is the first occasion on which the Dublin Institute of Catholic Sociology has received any subvention.

The need for adult education is recognised all over the world. In recent years we have come to recognise its importance in this country. There are bodies such as the Catholic Workers College and the Dublin Institute of Catholic Sociology which, largely by voluntary effort, have been doing a tremendous job of work. There is also the question of the adult [1212] education courses at University College, Cork, to which Deputy Treacy also referred. When Dr. Alfred O'Rahilly launched the adult education courses in UCC, a certain Government grant was given—I think it was £4,000—but when these courses proved themselves, this grant was reduced by half, which is something I could never understand. I am speaking from memory but I think I am right in that.

Now that a sum of £800 is being granted to the Dublin Institute of Catholic Sociology, I sincerely hope it is an indication of the growing awareness on the part of the Department of Education of the importance of adult education and I shall be looking forward to seeing in future Estimates increased recognition being given not merely to the Catholic Workers College and the Dublin Institute of Catholic Sociology but to University College, Cork, and the other voluntary bodies throughout the country that are doing so much to promote adult education. Adult education is of particular importance in this country by reason of the fact that until quite recently—in fact it still applies to a great extent—the vast majority of our children did not receive any formal education beyond the age of 14 and from this point of view opportunities should be provided for part-time study.

A sum of £80,000 is provided for salary increases for secondary teachers. Might I express the hope that we shall never again have a repetition of what happened last summer regarding the dispute between the secondary teachers and the Department of Education and that the expedient which had to be resorted to at that time in the supervision of examinations and correction of papers will never be allowed to occur again.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The matter does not seem to arise on this Supplementary Estimate, which deals with a specific sum for salary increases.

Mr. T. O'Donnell: As regards the increase in salary to secondary teachers, as far as I can gather, the Secondary Teachers Association and certainly a [1213] section of the secondary teachers, particularly the younger teachers, are not satisfied with the increase which has been granted. If we are to attract the right type of university graduate to secondary education, we shall have to give them not merely a maximum salary which will be comparable with what graduates get in other walks of life but also a satisfactory starting salary.

Mr. S. Dunne: Is breágh an rud glór na nGael a chloisint mar a chualamar cúpla noiméad ó shoin. Tá brón orm nach bhfuil mo dhóithin Gaeilge agam chun óráid a dhéanam cosúil leis an oráid a thug an Teachta Ó Ceallaigh uaidh.

Mr. P. O'Donnell: Tá an Teachta ag déanamh go han-mhaith.

Mr. S. Dunne: Déanfaidh mé mo dhícheall. Ar an ábhar sin ba mhaith liom an méid seo a rá : tá a fhios agam go bhfuil Gaeilge ag an Aire. Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil sé ar thaobh na h-athbheochana agus rudaí den tsaghas sin. Ach ní leor sin; tá gá le níos mó ná sin. Caithfidh an tAire ní h-amháin bheith ar thaobh na h-athbheochana ach caithfidh sé theaspáint go bhfuil sé ar thaobh na t-athbheochana, mar a dúirt an Teachta Treacy.

They are the few words I wanted to say in the native tongue. I say them stumblingly because I did not have an opportunity of acquiring the language at a very early age. I congratulate Deputy Ó Ceallaigh from Clare on his splendid delivery. I did not understand all he had to say but it was delightful to hear the language spoken so fluently and so well.

I should like to discuss the question of the grant-in-aid to the National Museum. I do not fall out with the purchase of a large silver two-handled porringer type bowl. I assume it has some aesthetic quality, that it will bring enjoyment to those who contemplate it in the National Museum. I assume that portion of the moneys we are being asked to vote for it will come from what is known as the Shaw Bequest. In that connection I should like to take this opportunity of mentioning in passing the fact that [1214] we are acting in no very creditable manner in so far as the memory of Shaw is concerned in hiding his statue in the National Gallery as if we were ashamed of it.

This man, through his works, has endowed to the extent of nearly £500,000 in royalties some of our institutions. It was suggested by me, and privately - expressed agreement came from members of the Government, that his statue should be displayed publicly in St. Stephen's Green or some such place where the citizens might be able to see it without having to go to the trouble of finding it in this backwater at the rere of Leinster House. I would ask the Minister to try to give some attention to this matter.

What we are doing at the moment is indulging in obscurantism which we should have long left behind us. Shaw was a Dublin man, a world figure, a giant in letters, a man of letters who, with Yeats and O'Casey, brought fame to this city. His will has benefited this city to the extent I have mentioned. Surely it is not too much to ask that instead of seeking to hide his likeness in the National Gallery we ought to display it publicly to show that we are proud of this man.

Dr. Hillery: Dúirt an Teachta Treacy gur bhaineadh tuisle as nuair a thosnaigh mé ag caint i mBéarla agus an Meastachán Forlíontach á thúirt isteach agam. Ba mhaith liom a chur in iúil dó nach raibh culú ar cheist na Gaeilge ar feadh na gcúig mblian atá imithe. Tá taobh eile leis an gceist seo. Bhí sé de nós ag gach Aire Oideachais a ghabh romham Meastacháin Fhorlíontacha na Roinne a thúirt isteach i mBéarla. Ach nuair a bhí an gná-Mheastachán á thúirt isteach acu bhí sé de nós acu leagan Béarla a chur ar fáil do na Teachtaí. Ba mhaith liom a rá arís nach bhfuil aon chulú ann maidir le ceist na Gaeilge anseo.

Do thagair an Teachta O'Donnell do rud adúirt mé, dar leis, ar Thelefís Éireann. Ní cuimhin liom anois cad dúirt mé ach tá a fhios agam ná dúirt mé an rud adeir an Teachta O'Donnell adúbhras faoin scéim chun daoine óga a chur chuig an Gaeltacht. Tá a lán [1215] airgid dhá iarraidh agam chun páistí a chur chuig an Gaeltacht. Tá scéimeanna eile im aigne agus scéimeanna ar siúl chun daoine a chur chuig an Gaeltacht.

Dúirt an Teachta O'Donnell ó Luimneach go raibh laghdú ar an deontas a bhí ag dul do Choláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh. Níor déineadh aon laghdú. Nuair a bhí Seán Ó Maoláin ina Aire Oideachais bhí £1,500 sa bhliain le fáil mar dheontas ag an gColaiste ar chúrsai áirithe gach bliain. Bliain amháin, áfach, do thug an tAire míle púnt sa bhreis chun fiacha an Choláiste i leith na gcúrsaí a ghlanadh. Ní raibh ceist ar bith an bhliain a bhí chugainn go mbeadh an míle púnt sin le n-íoc ath-uair, ach dúirt Uachtarán an Choláiste san am go raibh gearradh anuas ar an deontas. Creidim gur iarr an tAire ar an tUachtarán an ráiteas sin a tharraing siar agus ansin dúirt an tUachtarán nach raibh aon cheist faoi ghearradh anuas ar an deontas.

Mr. T. O'Donnell: An é an fear céanna atá ina Uachtarán fós?

Dr. Hillery: Ní hé.

Mr. T. O'Donnell: Fear darb ainm Mac Éinrí?

Dr. Hillery: Ní hé. Tá an fear a bhí ina Uachtarán ar an gColáiste nuair a bhí Seán Ó Maoláin ina Aire beo go fóill ach níl sé ina Uachtarán anois. Rud eile adúirt an Teachta— nach raibh i gcumas formhór páistí na tíre oideachas a fháil tar éis ceithre bliana déag d'aois. Níl ceist ar bith ann ná go bhfuil 65 nó 66 faoin gcéad de dhaltaí ag freastal scoile go lánaimsire tar éis ceithre bliana déag d'aois. Tá a fhios agam cad tá in aigne ag an dTeachta ach níl an ceart aige.

Ag dul thar n-ais go dtí ceist na teanglainne atá i gColáiste Rinn Mhic Ghormáin, thug mé cuairt air le déanaí. Is cinnte nach cliabhán atá ann ach stáidéar cruinn atá ar siúl i dtaobh na módhanna nua-aimsire atá le fáil i ngach tír chun teangthacha do mhúineadh. Níl ceist ar bith ann gurbí an Gaeilge amháin atá dhá [1216] múineadh; tá an Béarla agus teangthacha eile dá múineadh ann freisin ach tá staidéar dhá dhéanamh acu ar an méid Gaeilge ba chóir a bheith ag páistí ag fágaint na scoile dhóibh ionas go mbeidh seans acu úsáid a bhaint aisti agus deis a bheith acu níos mó a bhailiú de réir a chéile agus iad ag fáil taithí. Mar adúirt duine liomsa sa bhFrainnc: on n'enseigne pas le Francais; on enseigne du Francais. Sé sin le rá, ní mhúineann duine an Fhrainncis ina h-iomlán; ní mhúintear ach cuid di. Is mar a chéile é i gcás na Gaeilge. Níl an teangalann in ionad na Gaeilge, in ionad na múinteoirí ná ionad aon rud eile. Rud nua-aimsire atá ann agus staidéar atá ar siúl.

Maidir leis an ndealbh úd a rinne an Teachta Dunne tagairt dó, níl sé i bhfalach againn in aon chor. Tá sé le feiscint san áit atá ceaptha in uacht an duine uasail seo. B'fhéidir nach bhfuil seans ag Teachtaí cuairt a thúirt ar an áit seo; b'fhéidir go bhfuil siad róghnóthach. Ach dealbh mór atá ann agus tá sé in áit phoiblí san Áiléar agus ní dóigh liom gur aon mhasladh é sin. B'fhearr liom an dealbh a fheiscint ansin ná in aon áit eile mar is don Áiléar atá an t-airgead ag dul.

Ní gá aon tagairt a dhéanamh do na h-athraithe móra. Tá an obair ag dul chun cinn. Tá na h-ailtirí ag obair ar an gColáiste agus tá muintir na Roinne, na múinteoirí agus na daoine eile go bhfuil baint acu leis an obair chun na cúrsaí a scrúdú agus a chur ar fáil. Tá rud bunúsach ann dar liomsa—na múinteoirí a bheith sásta. Creidim go bhfuil rud bunúsach sa Mheastachán Breise seo nuair atá airgead curtha ar fáil chun tuarastal na múinteoirí a mhéadú. Táim thar a bheith sásta go raibh na Teachtaí mifhoidhneach liom nuair a thug mé an Meastachán Breise seo isteach as Béarla ar fad. Is maith liom é sin mar níl ann ach cúpla bliain ó shoin ó thug mé gná-Mheastachán na Roinne isteach i nGaeilge agus bhí daoine ag béiceadh agus dhá rá go raibh rud éigin á thúirt isteach i ngan fhios do na Teachtaí. Tá athrú tagtha ar an Dáil ina thaobh seo agus táim thar a bheith sásta.