Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Irish Language Qualifications of Gaeltacht Teachers.

asked the Minister for Education if he will state whether a bilingual certificate is not an essential qualification for appointments to schools in the Gaeltacht; whether any teachers not possessing such certificate have been sanctioned for schools in the Gaeltacht since January 1st, 1930, and, if so, how many and for what schools, and what qualifications in Irish were held by such teachers at the date of their appointment, and what special circumstances justified the waiving of the rule in each such case.

The regulations of my Department prescribe a bilingual certificate as a qualification for appointment to schools in districts scheduled as Irish-speaking, but in applying these regulations regard must be had to the difficulty which managers experience, particularly in the case of small schools and in schools in out-of-the-way localities, in obtaining teachers possessing full bilingual qualifications. In certain schools in districts scheduled as Irish-speaking it was felt that the amount of Irish spoken in a school area was not such as to enable my Department to resist the manager's request to appoint a teacher otherwise eligible whose qualifications fell somewhat short of the bilingual standard.

Of the 322 teachers appointed since the 1st January, 1930, to schools in districts scheduled as Irish-speaking, 90 did not possess the bilingual certificate, and, as a rule, were recognised only provisionally. Most of those were either native speakers, possessed the Teastas, together with a good oral knowledge of Irish, or were cases of transfers in the same area. Of this 90, 28 have since qualified for the bilingual certificate.

The return of the individual cases in the form asked for would take some time to prepare, but if the Deputy considers it necessary, I will have the information compiled and sent to him.

Mr. O'Connell

Has the Minister considered the advisability of publishing a list of the schools of the district scheduled as Irish speaking? The managers and the teachers find themselves from time to time in difficulties through not knowing what schools are scheduled.

We generally advise the manager beforehand, but I will consider the Deputy's suggestion.