Private Business. - University College, Galway, Bill, 1929—Committee.

Section 1 put and agreed to.
SECTION 2 (2).
Towards meeting further the cost of such measures as the College may hereafter take with a view to increasing the proportion of instruction given through the medium of the Irish language, the Minister for Finance may, if and when he so thinks fit, by order made on the recommendation of the Minister for Education increase the said sum of twenty-eight thousand pounds by such sum not exceeding two thousand pounds as shall be specified in such order, and the Minister for Finance may by any subsequent order similarly made further increase the said sum of twenty-eight thousand pounds, but so that the amount of such increase together with all increases previously made under this sub-section shall not exceed the sum of two thousand pounds.

I move amendment 1:

In sub-section (2), page 2, line 49, after the word "language" to insert the words "or making better provision for the study of the Irish language and literature."

This is to meet the point raised by Deputy Tierney, who urged that in addition to making such progress as could be made in the giving of instruction through Irish it was desirable that further arrangements should be made not only in Galway, but elsewhere for the actual teaching of the Irish language and for lectures in its literature.

I consider this amendment effects a very large improvement in the Bill. Personally, I would like to emphasise the view that I gave on the Second Reading, that I have, of course, no objection whatsoever to every attempt being made to encourage the teaching of various subjects through Irish, but I feel that until something is done to put the Irish language itself in a better position than it occupies at present in all the colleges of the National University that the attempt to go further with the teaching of other subjects through Irish is not likely to be successful. I only hope that the Minister will be called upon to expend money for the object set forth in this amendment. I think a serious attempt will be made, as I said on the Second Reading, to put the Irish language in University College, Galway, as well as elsewhere, in the same position as the French language is in the Sorbonne in Paris, or the German language in the University in Berlin. Until something like this is done, I feel that we shall not get very far with our efforts to encourage the teaching of other subjects through Irish.

Amendment put and agreed to.
Section 2, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
It shall be the duty of the Senate of the National University of Ireland, the Governing Body of the College, or the President of the College (as the case may be), when making an appointment to any office or situation in the College, to appoint to such office or situation a person who is competent to discharge the duties thereof through the medium of the Irish language: provided a person so competent and also suitable in all other respects is to be found amongst the persons who are candidates or otherwise available for such appointment.

Tairgim leasú a dó:—

In line 24 to delete all words after the word "language" to the end of the section.

Dubhras, nuair a bhí an Bille séo os ár gcóir cheana, gur mhaith liom leasú den tsórt seo do thabhairt isteach. Chualas gach a ndubhairt an tAire ach tar éis machtnamh a dhéanamh ar an scéal cheapas gur mhaith an rud an leasú so do thabhairt isteach. Mar adubhairt an Teachta O Tighearnaigh, tá gá leis an nGaedhilg do chur ar aghaidh ins na colaistí eile, agus b'fhéidir go mbeadh sé deacair uaireanta ollamh d'fháil a mbeadh eolas aige ar an nGaedhilg agus ar rudaí eile chó maith. Má bhíonn aon dul as raghfar as, sin é mo thuairim. Má támuid dáiríribh agus go bhfuilmíd chun an Ghaedhilg do chur ar aghaidh i gColáiste na Gaillimhe is ceart na focail sin go léir i ndiaidh an fhocail sin do thógáil amach. Tá a lán daoine óga i gcoláistí na hIolscoile anois, agus má bhíonn a fhios acu go mbeidh postanna den tsórt sin le fáil beidh eolas acu ar na habhair eile i nGaedhilg chó maith agus beidh daoine le fáil a bheas in án abhair eile do mhúineadh tríd an nGaedhilg. B'fhéidir go mbeidh baol ann nách mbeidh daoine le fáil a bheas oiriúnach ar gach slí eile ach is beag an baol é, sé sin, nach mbeadh eolas acu ar na habhair is mó a gcuireann siad suim ionta. Má bhíonn aon dul as acu is baol liom nach mbeidh aon mhaith sa mbille seo. Tá deacracht sa scéal ach ní féidir an Ghaedhilg do chur ar aghaidh gan an deacracht sin do scrúdú agus leigheas d'fháil air. Beidh slí as ag an faculty is dócha, daoine do chur isteach go sealadach no seift eile dá shaghas. Is dó liom gur cheart mo leasú-sa do chur isteach.

I oppose this amendment proposed by Deputy Fahy, because I think it is impracticable. I think it is an impossible condition to impose on the College. If Section 3 is passed, with Deputy Fahy's amendment, "it shall be the duty of the Senate of the National University of Ireland, the Governing Body of the College or the President of the College (as the case may be). when making an appointment to any office or situation in the College, to appoint to such office or situation a person who is competent to discharge the duties thereof through the medium of the Irish language." It would mean that in future no appointment of any man could be made to any chair or any position in University College, Galway, unless that person were in a position to discharge his duties through the medium of the Irish language. Deputy Fahy must know that people are not to be found at the present time who will do work of a university standard through the medium of Irish.

I am in thorough agreement with the provisions of the amendment moved by the Minister for Finance, because it would help to provide the men who, in time, will be able to do the work through the medium of Irish. But is there anyone who will get up and say if a person were wanted to fill the chair of engineering in Galway to-morrow, the chair of medicine, biology, zoology or any of these other faculties, that there are to be found men of first-class ability in their own particular branches who are able to do their work through the medium of Irish? Is it not likely that it would happen that a second-rate or a third-rate man, in the particular branch for which they were being chosen, would have to be elected for no other reason than that they were able to do the work through the medium of Irish? If we are considering a faculty of engineering in Galway College, is it better to have third-rate work in engineering done through the medium of Irish or first-rate work through the medium of English? That is the practical way of looking at it. If it could be done, and if these men are available, then good and well, but I do not believe that they are available.

I do not believe that any proper provision has been made in this country or in the National University for the last eight or ten years to provide these people. I do not believe that provision has been made in the University to provide people of university standard who would be able to lecture on scientific subjects through the medium of Irish. I think it is quite wrong that we should not face the facts. I do not believe it will help the language to pass Deputy Fahy's amendment. I believe that it will be an injury to the language and the whole language movement. It is impracticable. It is well known that the position is that we have not these people, and, until we have, Deputy Fahy's amendment will not be a practical one. I think it is going far enough to say that in all these appointments people who are competent to discharge the duties thereof through the medium of the Irish language: "provided a person so competent and also suitable in all other respects is to be found amongst the persons who are candidates or otherwise available for such appointment." Why does Deputy Fahy want to cut out "and also suitable in all other respects"? That is what he is really cutting out and saying although they may not be suitable in all other respects, provided they are able to do the work through the medium of the Irish language, they should be appointed. I think, as I say, it is doing an injury to the cause of the Irish language to force that amendment until we are in a position to show that the men are available to do the work in the way in which it is to be done.

I was very surprised to hear the attack on the amendment that was made by Deputy O'Connell. I am a post-graduate of University College, Galway. I was a student there for five years, and all the professors that I knew there were native Irish speakers. They are excellent men, well able to teach their classes through the medium of Irish. I am surprised that in the year 1929 a Deputy from Connaught, like Deputy O'Connell, could come here and tell us that these professors are not able to teach their classes through the medium of Irish.

Mr. O'Connell

I did not tell you any such thing.

It was suggested that these men were not able to carry out their duties as professors in medicine or in engineering.

Mr. O'Connell

Oh, no.

I can assure Deputy O'Connell and this House that the professors of medicine in University College, Galway, who taught me are native Irish speakers, and I am a native Irish speaker myself. What is more, the patients that attend the hospital there, where there are over 300 beds, are mostly native Irish speakers, and they have to be questioned in Irish. It is no use for any ophthalmologist or radiologist going to these patients and asking them questions in English. The majority of these people are Irish speakers, and it is ridiculous to think that any English-speaking doctor could attend them. If the hospital is to be used as a clinical hospital and medical students are to be trained there in the different subjects which they must pass it is absurd to think that any doctor can diagnose these cases if he does not know Irish, and if he has not a very competent knowledge of Irish.

I think the feeling in Galway, and in University College, Galway, is that we want to have it an Irish-speaking college. We want to have it a university where the professors will be competent to teach through the medium of Irish, and if you could get in 1914 and 1916, as we did get, a professor of surgery who has degrees that could not be beaten in any college or any hospital in Dublin or Cork, and who is a native Irish speaker, and if you could get a professor of medicine, a native Irish speaker, who is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and an M.D., and if you have a native Irish speaker as ophthalmologist and the same as radiologist appointed in 1914 or 1915, I do not see why in this year of 1929 we should not aim for that. I do not see why anyone who passes through University College, Galway, cannot do his business through the medium of Irish—that is, as regards medicine.

Mr. O'Connell

Have the students been lectured in Irish by these native Irish speakers?

No, but the patients have been questioned and the general clinical business is carried out through the medium of Irish. As regards engineering, the Professor of Engineering in University College. Galway, is a native Irish speaker, and well able to converse and do his business in Irish.

Mr. O'Connell

Does he do it?

Mr. O'Connell

All his lectures?

Of course, I did not take out lectures in engineering. I know that in dealing with students in ordinary matters, as far as I came in touch with him, he did his business with me in Irish. I think you will get good men able to take up any chair or any lectureship and yet be capable Irish speakers. I think this is an amendment that should be pressed. I know, as a Galway student and a Galway graduate myself, that we are very keen and anxious that this thing would go through.

I would wish when matters like this are being discussed that members of the Fianna Fáil Party would refrain from making political capital. This has happened before. On the Second Reading Deputy Derrig accused me of being opposed to this Bill. I simply pointed out that it might need amendment in certain respects and strengthening in other respects. Deputy Dr. Tubridy has attempted to turn opposition to this amendment into criticism of the existing staff.

I have not done so.

He has accused Deputy O'Connell of stating that the present staff are not able to deliver their lectures in Irish.

I pointed out that the staff that I came in contact with in University College, Galway, were capable Irish speakers, every one of them.

The Deputy also accused Deputy O'Connell of having brought into question the capacity of the present staff of University College, Galway. I maintain that it is altogether an invidious sort of statement to make. When we are dealing with a matter like this we ought to be able to deal with it from the point of view of fact, and we ought to be able to do that without trying to make every ounce of political capital out of that aspect of it. Deputy O'Connell is as interested in this matter as Deputy Doctor Tubridy, and so am I. We are anxious that as soon as possible a state of affairs should be brought about in which lectures on every subject shall be delivered through the medium of Irish, but as regards the qualifications of the present staff of University College, Galway. I would like to say that it has nothing whatever to do with this Bill. This Bill deals with the qualifications of men who will have to be appointed in the future. It has nothing to do with the present staff. I would like to know, however, when Doctor Tubridy was attending his lectures in the Irish language in University College, Galway, what sort of Irish textbooks were used in these lectures. I have a certain amount of suspicion that these lectures were apocryphal. I have a certain amount of doubt, whether even a native Irish speaker would be capable of delivering at the moment a full course of lectures on medicine or any other subject through the medium of the Irish language.

Doctor Tubridy raised the question of doctors attending patients in hospital, but the doctor could attend an Irish-speaking patient and examine him quite efficiently without being able to discuss all sorts of higher problems in medical research in the Irish language. If the doctor has a sufficient speaking knowledge of Irish, altogether irrespective of his knowledge of medicine, he should be able to go very far in examining any patient. The Deputy is inclined to confuse a good spoken knowledge of the Irish language and the capacity to deliver lectures to, say, an honours degree standard or a post-graduate standard in a very difficult and complicated technical subject and in a language in which no text books whatever on that subject exist. That is a very different problem from being able to talk a language fluently to a patient. I do not care who the native speaker is, or how fluently or well he may speak Irish, to talk at the present day of lecturing in the Irish language, on any subject, in which you have not got text books in the Irish language, is very little short of humbug in my opinion. There is a considerable amount of danger that we may, as I said before, do harm by trying to go too far all at once in this matter.

I should like to say, in dealing with this Bill, that we in this country are going to have it hard enough to keep our standard of university education as a whole up to the general European or world standard without complicating the matter still further by going in for all sorts of humbug about lecturing in Irish when we know very well that we cannot lecture in Irish. It is too serious altogether to allow political capital to be made out of it, or to allow personal advantage to be taken of it. This Bill as it stands compels the Governing Body of Galway College and the Senate of the National University, if there is a vacancy on the staff, and if a person thoroughly qualified to lecture in the Irish language and in other respects is available, to appoint that person. They cannot get out of it. They are compelled by law, once this Bill is passed, to appoint such a person.

If Deputy Fahy's amendment is passed it will mean, suppose a case should turn up in which, in the honest opinion of the Governing Body and of the Senate, a person properly qualified to deliver lectures in the Irish language was not available, that the Senate would be unable to appoint anybody, or else would be faced with the choice of appointing somebody not qualified either in the Irish language or in the particular subject in question. It seems to me that there is far too much importance being attached to this matter of lectures through Irish. It is a very desirable thing, and a very important thing, that an advance should be made in that direction, as in others, but I must say that I cannot see eye-to-eye with Deputy de Valera when he says, as he said the other night, that it should be possible for a person to proceed to a university degree in this country at this time of day without any knowledge of the English language. I do not see how that can happen. I am prepared to maintain that the person, in the present state of education in this country, who pretends that he can get a degree in any subject without a knowledge of the English language is talking through his hat. A person cannot lecture on a subject without having text-books on that subject. I do not know that it will be of any great importance whatever to have lectures, say, in medicine, or engineering, or anything else, in Irish by a professor to students who both have to use, all the time, English text-books. You have to deal with that part of the problem.

And Latin phraseology.

I do not know whether the Deputy is trying to maintain that the present staff of University College, Galway, are capable of delivering lectures in Latin. I may be permitted to express a doubt on that subject, if the Deputy means by what he says about Latin phraseology that a medical lecture is all in Latin. The fact remains, whether you call it Latin or whatever you like, that there is no text-book in the Irish language for medicine or any other subject which could come into serious consideration when teaching that subject up to the standard of an honours university degree. There is very little likelihood for a long time that such books will be available. If you take the case of my own subject, I consider that it would be very foolish for anybody to purport to teach the Greek language through Irish, in view of the fact that there does not exist even an elementary dictionary of Greek in the Irish language, much less text-books of other descriptions.

It will be easy enough to provide that doctors, engineers, lawyers, and so on, have qualifications in the Irish language, and are able to speak the Irish language fluently and do business, to a considerable extent, in it, but it is altogether unjustifiable, in my opinion, to mix up that which is highly desirable and easily attainable, with the much more problematical and difficult question of proceeding right away, whether you have people qualified or not, to insist that all lectures in any particular subject shall be delivered through the medium of Irish. I quite agree that that should be the case later on, and that in certain subjects the time may very soon come when it will be possible to get people capable of lecturing through the medium of Irish. But, until such people are available, and until you are certain that such people as are available have full qualifications, not only in the Irish language, but in the subject which they propose to teach through Irish, I think you will be making a very grave mistake, from the point of view of the Irish language itself and of the general education of the country, in allowing an amendment of this kind to be passed.

Deputy Tierney opened his remarks by assuring us that he was anxious to have the Irish language occupy the same place in University College, Galway, as the French language in the Sorbonne. He may think himself that his speeches here on this subject, however sincere they may be, are advancing to that object. I think they are retarding it, and that, whatever his own opinions may be, they are going to be used by people, who are not as sympathetic to the Irish language as he is, for another purpose. He says: "Let us be sure of our facts." He believes that this thing should be done ultimately, but not at present. The point is, is it going to be done? Deputy Tubridy has pointed out that when he was a student the professors of medicine in Galway, if they did not give the college lectures through Irish, did a good deal of the clinical work in that language, and if it had been compulsory upon them to do more I am sure they would have done it. The professors and students in Galway are living in the midst of an Irish-speaking atmosphere. You have only to go a few miles from Galway on the lake and you can hear the children playing their games in Irish. It was the case when I was a student. That is a thing you will not find in many other places, and it happens less than two miles from Galway. You have people of all ages and classes capable of conducting their business in Irish. You have the majority of the business people in Galway doing their business in Irish, and you have the position that the majority of the professors are Irish speakers, and, I believe, capable of doing their business in Irish.

I see Deputy Good smile. We are either in earnest in regard to this matter, or we are not. I, for one, at any rate, as far as Deputy Tierney's remarks in regard to political capital and so on are concerned, would remind him that when a Deputy makes statements in public with reference to this matter of Irish, and gives expression to his own views, he ought to have no objection to criticism upon them. Is it or is it not the case that Deputy Tierney evolved a theory of his own about a bilingual State which we were to have in this country? I do not know in what publication exactly he published it, but I know that he produced an entirely new theory of his own which, I dare say, came from his contact with certain people of the Anglo-Irish type in Dublin who may have a certain idea about Irish.

I believe the Ceann Comhairle would not allow me to express my views on a bilingual State.

That is a sound enough belief.

But I would like to refer the Deputy to the writings of P.H. Pearse on the question of bilingualism.

I do not want to refer to the writings of Pearse, nor to the question of the raising of the standard of university education. When the National University was founded it was made compulsory on the students that the possession of Irish was necessary to pass the matriculation examination. However, very little has been done since that except that in Cork University professors have been found capable of dealing with such subjects as mathematical physics through Irish. There is also in Galway a professor in charge of the engineering school, who, if he does not conduct his lectures in Irish, at least is a competent Irish speaker, and I am quite certain that so far as that professor is concerned, and from my own acquaintance with him, he will, if this amendment is carried, be in a very short time fully competent to do all his work in Irish.

The amendment would not affect the present teaching staff. I do not like to have Deputies going into the qualifications of the present staff, but the amendment and the section deal with new appointees, not with the present staff.

I understand that, to a certain extent, we may be travelling outside the amendment. I am not speaking to that point about the staff in any sense of making undue capital out of what Deputy Tierney or of what Deputy O'Connell said. What I say is that they are speaking here, and they are trying to give the House the impression that they have full knowledge of the facts when, as a matter of fact, they have no knowledge of the facts, and when, as a matter of fact, the situation cannot exist, because you cannot get men capable of doing the work in Irish when there are men doing the work there in Irish already. It is an argument in favour of this amendment that it must be easy to get men in future under the new conditions and new school programmes and Government policy if many years ago you had a large number of professors competent to speak Irish.

Another point in regard to Deputy Tierney's remarks was that text-books are not available. Undoubtedly that is a difficulty, but that difficulty can be taken in hands at the same time that the whole question of Irishising Galway College can be taken in hands. When this Assembly was set up here it was decreed that all statutes passed should be translated into Irish. What an extraordinary variety of subjects have been discussed in this House, what a complex network of legal technicalities have passed into law, and yet men, because they were sincere in what they did, not that they had any specially high qualification in University education, or anything else, quite ordinary officials, were able to get down to these questions and were able to translate all these terms into Irish.

Deputy Tierney wanted to make a lot of capital out of Deputy Tubridy's point about Latin phraseology. I submit that the professor of medicine is lecturing in Latin most of the time. When dealing in these terms he is speaking Latin, and if the whole business of Galway College were by a wave of a magic wand transformed into Irish tomorrow you might have 99 per cent. of the technical terms and phrases in the medical text-books transferred straight away into Irish.

The terms are mainly in Greek, as a matter of fact.

If a great many more of them were in Greek they would be easier to manage, and if Deputy Tierney would devote a little of his attention to tracing the roots he might give valuable assistance in translating them. If you get a staff here in Leinster House capable of translating into Irish everything that passes here and covering every term no matter how difficult in all these Acts in the past seven years surely we are not so despondent or despairful of the National University that we do not realise that with the students and the under-graduate body solidly in favour of this course, as undoubtedly in University College, Galway, they are, and with the majority of the professors Irish-speakers, and with the facilities you are going to give in the form of additional financial aid, no person can, from a detached view point, doubt that in a year or two we shall get over this difficulty.

We want this amendment to be passed at once, because it will be difficult to open this question again. If this amendment is defeated and if appointments are going to be made to Chairs or Lectureships in Galway before this question can be reopened again irreparable harm will have been done. Whatever justification there may have been in the past for appointing persons who could lecture through English there will be no justification whatever in the future. It will be said when this thing was passing through that the tolerant majority in the Dáil gave this loophole and let us take advantage of it. Furthermore, there are three different bodies mentioned here—the Senate, the Governing Body and, I believe, the Academic Council—who will have something to say to it, and between these three bodies, who may or may not take up a weaker attitude upon the language question than is desirable, you may be sure this loophole will be taken advantage of to appoint persons not competent to do the work in Irish. I strongly urge the House to insist on passing Deputy Fahy's amendment. I believe it will not injure the standard of university education. On the contrary, I believe it will get us out of the position that we are in at present, sending persons to Berlin, Paris, Rome and to Geneva who are not able to speak the Irish language. How long is that going to continue? Let us, in God's name, put a stop to it here and now and say definitely having done such good work in primary and secondary education we will put a fitting crown upon it by setting out definitely to-night to establish a Gaelic University.

Deputy Derrig made a statement with regard to Ministers being sent abroad without any knowledge of Irish.

I did not use the word "Ministers." I said "persons."

The persons in Berlin representing the Saorstát are more competent and fluent speakers of the Irish language than the Deputy who has referred to them.

I could not help feeling that if Deputy Derrig had been consistent he would have delivered his lecture in Irish, and if he had I might have believed that it was relevant to the amendment. Only in the last three sentences did the Deputy speak to the amendment at all. As I understand the amendment, it is definitely to affirm the principle that, provided a professor knows Irish, it does not matter whether he knows anything about the subject he is going to profess or not. They are to appoint the man with the best knowledge of Irish without reference to whether he is the best man to teach the subject of mathematics or history or any other subject. Bernard Shaw once said that professors of Greek are privileged; few of them, he said, know Greek, and none of them know anything else. Now we are in Galway. We have the situation where all the professors are to know Irish and are to know nothing else, if Deputy Fahy's amendment is acted on. You might have a professor of mathematics who did not know the difference between the integral and the differential calculus. He might be an excellent man. Perhaps he would be. I do not know the difference myself. I do not profess to have a great knowledge of mathematics. You might have a professor of history who mixed up Wolfe Tone and Smith O'Brien.

The devil quotes scripture for his own purpose at times.

Is that really going to be for the good of the Irish language? There are large concessions made to the Irish language in this Bill. But surely it is not going to help the language if you are going to say: "Provided you know Irish you can profess any subject whether you are the best man for it or not." It does not affect the situation that Deputy Derrig mentioned. He said that the existing professor in surgery can give clinical instruction in Irish. This Bill does not affect any existing professor. It only refers to new appointments. It lays down that, if a man who is a good man in his subject knows Irish, he should be given a preference. Is not that enough? Is not that reasonable enough without adding a proposition which, with all respect to Deputy Fahy—I do not want to offend him —does seem to me to be a perfectly ridiculous one, one that will make the Irish language not respected, but laughed at in academic circles throughout the world.

I do not think Deputy Cooper has read Section 3 at all. It is a rather strange thing for the Deputy to be talking about the section if he has not read it. If he reads the section he will find that it runs like this:

It shall be the duty of the Senate of the National University of Ireland, the Governing Body of the College, or the President of the College (as the case may be) when making an appointment to any office or situation in the College to appoint to such office or situation a person who is competent to discharge the duties thereof through the medium of the Irish language....

It is quite clear that he must be competent to discharge "the duties thereof." Therefore, it is not a question at all of appointing anyone who may know the Irish language to a Chair the subject matter of which he is ignorant. The amendment proposes to delete the words "provided a person so competent and also suitable in all other respects is to be found amongst the persons who are candidates or otherwise available for such appointment." Who is to determine that? Is every appointment to be a question for the court? If that is to be so, then it means that as regards every decision of the Senate in making an appointment there is to be an appeal to the courts against it as far as I understand it. I think that is a highly undesirable situation. I am confident that nobody will be appointed by the governing bodies mentioned here who is not fit to discharge the duties of the Chair, who is not fit for the position, and who can discharge the duties in the first instance through the medium of the Irish language.

Suppose no such person is available?

Suppose that no such person is available, then I am perfectly certain that a way out can be found. In that case a definite, permanent appointment cannot be made, and I think that such an appointment ought not to be made. To appoint at this stage to positions in Galway College people who are not competent to discharge their duties through Irish is, to my mind, going backwards. Now is the time in which we have to make a definite stand if we are really serious about making an Irish college of Galway at all.

Would the Deputy tell us a way out?

I have indicated a way out. If there is no person available who is fit to discharge the duties, the appointment cannot be made at the time. They would have to wait and make a temporary appointment, but a definite appointment cannot be made.

Empty Chairs?

Appointments to Chairs like engineering are not being made every day. The value of having a definite instruction given in this Bill that the appointment of persons who are competent to discharge the duties of the post through Irish are to be made means that notice is being given to native Irish speakers in the University to prepare for vacancies that are likely to arise. If the Dáil does not do that, there is no incentive whatever to native speakers to prepare themselves. They will feel, in some cases at any rate, that instead of a knowledge of the Irish language being an advantage it may be held to be a disadvantage, and that there will be some people who are going to classify them as third rate or second rate. As far as we are concerned, in any case, we have definitely made up our minds that it is necessary to make a stand on this question at some stage. Deputy O'Connell, I think, told us that he is a member of the Governing Body of Galway College. Therefore we may take it that his attitude is going to be typical of the attitude of a number of members of that Governing Body, members who, in the first instance, will be responsible for making most of those appointments. That attitude is going to leave out definitely in any decision the claims of Irish.

Therefore, as far as we are concerned, our opinion is that the time has definitely come when a stand should be taken on this, and that whatever inconveniences may arise as a result of it, it will be well worth facing them on account of the results that are likely to accrue. If we are to go weakly at this and allow the question to be shelved, as it has been in a number of other cases, then there is going to be no definite progress made. We have heard Deputies here talking about text books as if no lectures can be delivered without text books. Some of the best lectures that have ever been delivered have been lectures based on the individual professor's own attitude towards his subject, and it is quite possible for any person who knows Irish at the present time to deliver his lectures on technical subjects through the medium of the Irish language. We were also told that there are no dictionaries available. Very often students of subjects have to know foreign languages—have to make them up—in order to get certain information that is only available in those languages. That is not going to be prevented in the future. Where it is possible to have lectures in the Irish language, especially in University College, Galway, which is so close to the Gaeltacht, it ought to be made a definite rule that the people appointed are capable of discharging their duties through the medium of the Irish language.

I want the Deputy to make one thing clear in his speech which to me he did not make clear, and that is his way out. The Deputy suggested that substitute or temporary appointments might be made. Any appointment, whether it is a temporary or substitute appointment, is an appointment, and if that is what the Deputy suggests as a way out I maintain that the amendment is still wrong. Perhaps the Deputy did not read the section?

Deputy O'Sullivan is another illustration of the way out. The only thing he is concerned with is the way out in this Bill. We want no way out.

I do not want to enter into personalities, but the term "way out" was used long ago in Irish politics. I do not want to make this a matter of politics. I am much more interested in the Irish language than that. The term was used before I heard the term "weigh out" after a race. "Way out" was used by Deputy de Valera.

I do not think I can add anything to what I said before. It seems to me that we must have belief in the governing body, for although the President and the Senate are mentioned, the governing body will make the main appointments. It is their influence will determine the appointments. I believe the Senate has an unwritten law with respect to the governing body that, unless there is grave reason to do otherwise, the main appointments are made from a selection of three sent up by the governing body to the Senate. I think the Senate appoints the first name on the list sent up by the governing body.

Therefore, the attitude of the governing body is important in determining the future of Irish in the college. Knowing what the attitude of the Government is, knowing the attitude of the majority in the Dáil; knowing that the college has already been more generously treated than it otherwise would have been because of the desire that it should work for the Irish language; and knowing that it is promised further support if the college will do its best in this matter, we believe that the governing body in these circumstances will decide to do the best they can, and firmly hold to the decision to do the best they can for Irish. I am perfectly satisfied that the governing body, in the circumstances that exist, whatever may be the opinion of individual members, will recognise that not only the interests of the country, but the interests of the college, demand that they should go ahead in this matter. From all I learn I believe we are safe in taking that point of view, that the governing body will do what it can. If we do not believe that any inducement, any persuasion, any legislative provision will make the governing body determined to do its best, we would have to go further in order to make sure of the position than the amendment suggests. You might force the college to leave positions vacant or appoint only Irish speakers to them, but you cannot make the governing body use its influence in the college. A great deal will depend on matters more than mere selection. Deputies have said there are many Professors in the college competent to lecture in Irish through Irish. I do not know whether they have so far been encouraged to do the work through Irish. It is important that those capable of doing work through Irish should be utilised. I think it comes down to this: that we should try and get the right spirit into the college. It may be that different motives will actuate different people. Some people are interested in making the college go ahead, and others will take the point of view of general interest in the movement, but we must get the people in control of the college right. It is not much good to try to tie them up too much.

I have personally given a good deal of consideration to it, because I have been approached from different angles by interested people who know the position in the College during the interval that has elapsed since the introduction of the Bill, and I have come to the conclusion that it is by a method of inducement and appeal that we can hope for progress.

The alternatives that Deputy de Valera suggest would not be helpful, I think, because rather than leave a Chair vacant for a considerable time we would probably have people appointed who were not competent in the long run. If a candidate did not turn up who was competent in Irish and the alternative was leaving the Chair vacant, we probably would have somebody who was not very competent in the subject put in in the particular circumstances. I think that would be bad for the College and bad for the Irish language. Deputy de Valera says that unless we adopt the amendment there will be no inducement to native speakers to specialise and prepare themselves to fill Chairs or to lecture on various subjects. That inducement exists already. Certain people have been appointed in the University College, Galway, for the purpose of lecturing in Irish—people perhaps who would not have been appointed otherwise, for the positions would not be there. I believe that will be so in the future, and that it will be additionally recognised that there is a need for people who can lecture in Irish, that people who have Irish may find that it is a very distinct advantage to them if they would specialise and prepare for these positions. I think we can get the good effects that could be got without the amendment, and perhaps get more. I have come to the conclusion that unless we are prepared to take over the whole College, and that the Government should appoint the Professors and have a different system altogether, it is better for us to depend on the college and have some belief that they will carry out the national policy.

Question put: That the words proposed to be deleted stand part of the section.
The Committee divided: Tá, 74; Níl, 50.

  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clancy, Patrick.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Cooper, Bryan Ricco.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Crowley, James.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Dolan, James N.
  • Doyle, Edward.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis J.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Kelly, Patrick Michael.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Leonard, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Richard.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Reilly, John J.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reynolds, Patrick.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Tierney, Michael.
  • Vaughan, Daniel.
  • White, John.
  • Wolfe, George.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.


  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Cooney, Eamon.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kerlin, Frank.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Mullins, Thomas.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipperary).
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Tubridy, John.
  • Walsh, Richard.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle; Níl, Deputies G. Boland and Allen.
Question declared carried.
Question—"That Section 3 stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.
The remaining sections, the Preamble and the Title of the Bill put and agreed to.
Bill as amended ordered to be reported.
The Dáil went out of Committee.
Bill, with one amendment, reported.
Report Stage ordered for Wednesday, 6th November.