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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 22 Apr 1969

Vol. 239 No. 12

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Distribution of Encyclopaedia.


asked the Minister for Education the number of copies of the Encyclopaedia of Ireland distributed free of charge or at reduced rates to (a) universities, (b) secondary schools, (c) primary schools and (d) vocational schools; and if he will give details of the total expense involved.


asked the Minister for Education the number of copies of the publication, Encyclopaedia of Ireland, distributed by his Department (a) to national schools, (b) to secondary schools, (c) to other schools and (d) to any other bodies; the cost of same; and on what basis this encyclopaedia was chosen for such distribution.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 and 48 together.

The Encyclopaedia of Ireland was, in accordance with the arrangements for providing libraries in all schools, distributed free to 4,371 primary schools, 595 secondary schools and 278 vocational schools at a total cost of £26,220. It was not distributed to universities or any other bodies. The basis for the selection of the encyclopaedia was simply that there is no other such publication dealing with Ireland.

Would the Minister agree, even if there is no other encyclopaedia, that this one should not have been issued as it does not give a fair and just assessment of history from 1916 to 1940? The Minister stated here last week that a team of cultural and artistic people were responsible for examining this book before it was issued. How can he claim that they are cultural or artistic if they continue the partisan and indeed mulish attitude of the present Government of not giving credit where credit is due or fair recognition to people who built up this State? Would the Minister not further agree that due recognition should have been given and has not been given in this encyclopaedia to men like Collins, Griffith, O'Higgins, Hogan, W.T. Cosgrave, Mulcahy, Costello, MacEoin and others?

That is a separate question.

Let the Deputy take it up with the private publishing firm concerned. I can give him the name and address afterwards. Do not be annoying me about it.

Has the State not purchased more books from them than anybody else? Is that not true?

That is a separate question.

This is a partisan publication and the Minister knows it. If it did not praise Fianna Fáil it would not have been purchased.