THE IRISH QUESTION.
TO THE EDITOR. Sir, —The letter of “ Kate Rossbotham ” in your issue of Ist inst. is such a conglomeration of misstatciAents and exaggerations that it is scarcely worth noticing ; still, lest it should have any effect on those unacquainted with Irish affairs, I will, with your permission, reply to it. First, with regard to the national schools, I reassert that, taken all round, they are fully equal to the schools here—in some respects they are better. For instance, in towns from 10,000 up each school has special masters—for singing, drawing, and physical science; and, besides the benefits accruing to the scholars who pass the May examinations in the two latter subjects, the teachers receive a bonus of L2 (in addition to their ordinary payment as teachers) for each successful scholar. I know a teacher of science who increased his income by close on Ll3O per annum from these examinations. If the Government were as black us painted by yotir correspondents, and so anxious to keep the Irish in ignorance, why should they, at considerable cost, give such inducements both to teachers and scholars to study science and drawing. I was highly amused at the reason given by “ Kate Rossbotham ” for the suppression of history from the syllabus. She is obviously in error, as in any history I have seen Irish affairs are only mentioned when the connection made it necessary. History Is forbidden in Ireland for the same reason that the Bible was originally forbidden from the schools here—to give the Roman Catholics no ground for complaint. No doubt a couple of chapters from Irish history of, say, the year 1798, would be interesting reading, especially that giving an account of the trial of the Protestants by Father Murphy (who acted as Judge and jury) at Vinegar Hill, and the carrying out of the sentence—viz., to be piked and thrown over Wexford Bridge ; or that climax of iniquity, the burning of Scullabogue barn, containing 187 Protestants, only three of which escaped being roasted. But enough of this horror. There is one reason, and one only, for the ignorance of the Irish Roman Catholics (lor it is only they that are ignorant). The schools and teachers are sufficient for the population, hut only one class is allowed to attend the national schools. I know one school capable of accommodating 1,000, yet, although the E,oman Catholics are more than half of the population, I never knew of more than ten in attendance, and often none at all.
For ten years, ending December, ISB7, the deposits in the Post Office Savings Banks increased in Eastland .. 74 per cent. Scotland .. .. U8 ~ 1 -eland ~121 ~ This included the years 1870, 1880,1381, when relief was sent to Ireland. I cannot dote without mentioning the case of one of the tenants evicted at Glasherchoo, Shane Martin owed twenty years’ rent, amounting to L2l 14s. The offered him a clear receipt on payment of 80s. His reply was: “I will do what the priest bids me, and go with the rest of the country.” This shows the spirit actuating the tenants, J cannot say what or how much land is included with the dwelling ; but any land and any dwelling is worth Is 6d per year. Sir, as far as I am concerned this correspondence is closed, unless I have really something to reply to.—l am, etc., Irishman,
Dunedin, August 5. P.S.-I forgot to mention that I have always replied to letters as soon as I was able to do so. My last was not published for twelve days after it was received, owing, I suppose, to the press of Parliamentary news. —I,
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THE IRISH QUESTION., Evening Star, Issue 7978, 6 August 1889
THE IRISH QUESTION. Evening Star, Issue 7978, 6 August 1889
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