The CEANN COMHAIRLE intimated that the Deputation could now be received, and that there would be no discussion on the subject of their visit until they had withdrawn.
LIAM T. MAC COSGAIR (Kilkenny North) introduced the Mayor of Limerick, who made a statement to the effect that two years ago the Committee in charge of Technical Instruction under the Borough Council of Limerick appointed Mr. de Lacy as Head Master of the School of Commerce. The D.A.T.I. at first refused to sanction the appointment on the grounds that there were no available funds to pay for the instruction. Later on the Department refused to give their sanction to the appointment unless Mr. de Lacy gave a guarantee that he would not again embark on a course of action such as led to his arrest after Easter Week. This Mr. de Lacy would not give, and the Department refused to approve a scheme for the coming year unless Mr. de Lacy's name was omitted therefrom. The Deputation now asked for financial support for the School from Dáil Eireann. The Committee refuse to appoint any other Head Master. Failing the financial support asked for, the Committee had but one alternative, namely, to hand in their resignations.
Mr. Hennessy, a member of the Deputation, stated that the amount of money required to run the Schools was about £2,000 per annum. The entire expenses was about £3,500, but the Committee would be prepared to raise £1,500. He supplied details in connection with the income and expenditure of the Technical Schools. The School Buildings were the property of the Corporation. There were three Englishmen on the Teaching Staff for whose superannuation under a recent Act of the English Parliament the Local Authority was responsible. They could not therefore dismiss them. The normal school attendance was 750. Mr. de Lacy was appointed in September, 1917. It was admitted by a representative of the D.A.T.I., who called on them in Limerick in connection with the matter, that the case had been taken out of their hands and was being dealt with by Dublin Castle.
Mr. de Lacy submitted that the Schools could be made self-supporting within two years. They were badly managed at present. There were nine or ten teachers who were not doing two hours' work per day. The Technical Teachers under Municipal Boroughs were permanent officials; under County Councils they were appointed yearly.
The Mayor thanked the Speaker and Deputies for having been given a hearing, and the Deputation then withdrew.