§ MR. BOLAND
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the statement on page 130 of the recently issued Appendix to the Report of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, that Irish is in parts of county Kerry a living language, sometimes the only language, that in Dingle on a market day nine-tenths of the transactions are conducted in Irish, that it is the language of the home and children lisp in Irish at their mother's knee, that it should therefore be the† See (4) Debates clxiv., 1006–10.350 language of the school from the earliest moment, that English should be taught through the medium of Irish, and that as the child grows up he would naturally and easily become the possessor of two tongues instead of one; and whether with a view to the general adoption of the bilingual system in the schools of county Kerry, he is in a position to state whether any, and, if so, what, facilities will be given.
I understand that the statement referred to in the Question occurs in the general Report for the year 1905 of Mr. Connelly, one of the senior inspectors of schools in Ireland. The Commissioners of National Education inform me that they are prepared to sanction the bilingual programme in the national schools in Irish-speaking districts and in districts in which Irish and English are both commonly spoken, provided that the home language of the majority of the pupils is Irish; that the teacher can speak Irish fluently; and that instruction through the medium of English will be given to any exclusively English speaking pupils whose parents desire it. The Commissioners hold that in schools in which the bilingual programme is adopted, Irish should be mainly the medium of instruction for the junior standards, and English for the higher. The Commissioners will pay a fee of 4s. for each unit of the average attendance in schools in which the bilingual programme has been sanctioned by them and has been taught satisfactorily, and in which the necessary conditions have been complied with.
§ MR. MYER (Lambeth, N.)
inquired if it were not the fact that certain exporters of Irish products stamped their goods in the Irish language to show the country of origin. Was that in consonance with the regulations of the Board of Trade?
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT (Down, N.)
asked on what system the decision was to be based as to what children should be taught the Irish language.
said it would be for the Commissioners of National Education to decide what children came within the regulations which would be put in force.