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Irish Education Inquiry

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Date: 1824 to 1826
Location: Irelandmap
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State of religious and other instruction now existing in Ireland: second report 870 pages

Report of the Irish Education Inquire - [1]

Report of the Commissioners of National Education - 1835 through 1918

1824 Survey of Irish Schools

Royal Commission on Irish Education: third report with appendix (Dublin) 19 pages

National School roll books and registers received from the Department of Education

Guide to sources on National Education

In 1824, a commission of inquiry was established to survey the state of Irish education. Part of this enquiry involved the collection of statistical data on the number of Catholic schools, their teachers and pupils, in each parish. This census was taken over 3 months in 1824 and an abstract was published as Appendix no. 22 to the Second Report of the Commissioners of Irish Education Enquiry, 1826-27. The returns showed that the majority of Catholic children received their education in hedge schools. The returns give details on each school surveyed including the townland in which it was situated, the name, religion and income of schoolmaster or mistress, a description of the schoolhouse, details on funding and the number of male and female children attending. There are two sets of returns given, from both Protestant and Catholic observers.

The Second Report of the Commissioners of Irish Educations Inquiry is a fascinating insight in to the state of education in pre-famine Ireland as well as being a wonderful genealogical source, listing some 12,530 Masters and Mistresses of schools. The report was published in 1826, from an abstract of returns by both Protestant and Roman Catholic clergy for the year 1824. The Report is divided in to two parts, the actual report and the appendices. The report part is quite short, a little over twenty pages, and it lays out the distribution of schools by province, religion, male to female ratio, as well as an societies they schools were associated, such as the Association for Discountenancing Vice or the Board of Erasmus Smith's Trustees. It is the twenty two appendices of this report stretched, over 1,200 pages, which provide the most useful information.

Of the appendices it is Appendix 22 which is the longest and most fulsome. It lists 11,823 individual schools, the Barony and Parish, townland, who the Master or Mistress is, as well as their religion. It also lists if the school is free or fee paying, the total income of the Master or Mistress, a description of the school house and its probable cost.

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Thank you so much for this post. Very informative, I found here an info piece I was looking for, and the sources you provided are amazing. I'm very interested in education, its' history, and I like reading about it. Not a long time ago, I wrote a paper on that issue, and I found so much information on that topic that it could take me a lot of days to go through it all. Even though I'm interested in that topic, it's hard to read and analyze all that. So that I used the help of because I was running out of time and also power. But I read the finished paper and found out so many new facts. And I wish I had found those articles earlier because it would be great to add something like this to the paper.
posted by Lois Moore
edited by Lois Moore