To ask the Minister for Education how many Secondary School Scholarships have been awarded by the Mayo County Council and sanctioned by his Department; whether all the candidates who received such Scholarships fulfilled the conditions as regards age, which were set out in the Council's published scheme; if not, will he say on what grounds candidates not so eligible were awarded Scholarships, and whether the effect of this was to exclude candidates who had fulfilled all the necessary conditions?

The total number of Scholarships provided was 10— viz., 6 for boys and 4 for girls. After the award of the Scholarships two of the successful candidates were found not to be within the prescribed age. The Co. Council made strong representations to me that the award should stand, in consideration of the facts that these candidates were not aware of the age condition when competing at the examination, and that they had already arranged to attend Secondary Schools. Under these circumstances I did not feel justified in withholding approval from the Council's action, especially as the marks of the excluded candidates were rather low.