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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 19 Jun 1924

Vol. 7 No. 27


asked the Minister for Education whether a number of demonstrators and teachers in the College of Science have been dismissed or are under notice of dismissal, and, if so, whether he will state the reasons for this action; further, if it is the intention to continue in the College of Science, without any reduction, the scientific courses of instruction for which those buildings were erected and equipped.

The Minister has asked me to read the following reply:—I am not aware that any member of the recognised teaching staff of professors, lecturers, or demonstrators at the College of Science has been dismissed or is under notice of dismissal. I am informed, however, that it has been customary to employ in the College laboratories a staff of assistant demonstrators and extra assistant demonstrators, and it has been found necessary in the present state of the country's finances to fix the number of these officials at a maximum of seven. I understand that this arrangement involves a termination of the employment at the end of the present session of six extra assistant demonstrators. The assistant and extra assistant demonstrators are appointed from year to year, and the termination of their office is not correctly described as dismissal.

In reply to the last part of the question, I wish to state that the position of the College is at present under consideration by the Government.

Can the Minister say if some indication will be given to us with regard to the policy to be pursued in connection with the College of Science?

I believe that when the Educational Estimates will be under discussion the Minister for Education will probably make a statement on the matter.

Is the Minister satisfied that the tuition given at the College of Science will not suffer by reason of the dismissal of these demonstrators?

I presume that the Minister for Education would be better able to reply to that question. At the present time, in any case, the holiday period is on. I think that the Deputy will have to ask a question of the Minister for Education.

As the Minister is here now, perhaps he will say if he is satisfied that there will be no loss from an educational point of view through the dismissal of the demonstrators, or, shall I say, the refusal to re-employ assistant demonstrators at the College of Science?

I am quite satisfied there will be no loss and no diminution of educational work through the steps contemplated.

Is that a condemnation of the policy of the last and previous years?

I take it the whole question of policy with regard to the College of Science will come up for discussion when the Estimates will be considered?

I hope the Minister will then be able to give us more information than he has given us to-day.