Literary and Industrial Schools

This article was originally published in the Galway Vindicator on August 18th, 1848.

To the Editor of the Galway Vindicator.

West Convent, August 18th, 1848

Dear Sir, - you will much oblige the clergymen of this house by giving a place to the accompanying list of contributors towards the liquidation of the balance of 2.27 which I shewed to have been due in the statement of receipts and expenditure, incurred in the erection and completion of the Claddagh Literary and Industrial School, which you did me the favour to publish a short time ago. When the hand of benevolent opens in such trying times in the present, to assist those, who can have no claim save that which springs from the sacred ties which link heart to heart in the, noble cause of charity, we may feel assured that in better times and with better prospects than the ones before us, we shall be enabled to realise the expectations of good which we cherish in reference to our fishing colony. The public are deeply interested in all that regards the education of the rising generation, who, if brought up in idleness, or what is nearly as bad, if educated without a view of making their education to subserve for their future calling, must become not alone a heavy burthen to society, but a barrier or no small moment, to the best interest of morality and religion. In the hope of contributing something to the moral and social improvement of the children and people of the western suburbs of this town, the male and female branches of the Order of Saint Dominick, have established schools in which six hundred poor children are daily receiving the blessings of an education eminently useful ? because conducted with a view of promoting those moral and industrial habits to which the poor and the labouring classes must look for their support in after life, and whatever of comfort they may be permitted to enjoy in this world of care. In the school under the care of the ladies of the convent at Taylor's Hill, the children of the poor devote a considerable portion of the day to industrial pursuits. ? They are taught to prepare and spin the different sorts of wool suited for the various articles of useful clothing ? such as stockings, shawls, vests, Guernsey jackets, and petticoats, all of which are manufactured with great neatness and skill.

These domestic arts are cultivated under the maternal care of the ladies of the Convent, by children who, but a few months ago sauntered in idleness and in ignorance along the lanes and the highways, and in witnessing this interesting specimen of female industry one is secretly reminded of these beautiful words of the Book of Proverbs, which should be written upon the female heart ?

She hath sought wool and flax and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands. Her fingers have taken hold of the spindle. She shall not feel for her to use in the cold of the snow. She hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle.

This female school so full of promise is only in its infancy, and knowing as I do the feelings of the ladies by whom it is conducted, I only give a grateful expression to them in stating that they attribute the good they have been already enabled to effect both in educating and feeding the poor of their locality, to the first contribution placed at their disposal, that of the Right Rev. Dr. O'Donnell, under whose auspicious sanction the School at Taylor's?hill was opened, just at the moment when the poor children stood most in need of shelter and support. Now, with regard to our own School I may state, that so far as means and circumstances will permit, it is our intention to impart an industrial character to the education that shall be given in the Claddagh National Piscatory School. The Boys shall be fitted for a sea-faring life, and made familiar with the most approved fishing appliances, and the girls shall be taught to spin the best materials for nets, &c., and thus do we hope to see an intelligent and industrious population growing up around us, and reaping the rewards even in this life of their virtuous industry.

Small premiums shall be given from time to time to stimulate the energies both of the young and the grown up, and especially at the present fishing season, when it is of so much importance to encourage the fishermen to commence the herring fishery, had with Messrs. McCausland and Fetherston, the Solicitors of the Ecclesiastical Board, he informed them that they (the Town Commissioners), would be satisfied to sell it at the upset price. He had to say, however, that the circumstances of its being divided into so many small livings, was the effect of retarding its sale.

Mr. Duggan (Barrister), said there were two clergymen who would have purchased it, but for that it was so divided.

Several members of the Board expressed their belief that it might be set up in one lot with the same or more advantage.

Mr. Hart thought they ought to change the price at which it had been set up, by making it lower.

The Secretary proposed to mortgage it for the present, if such could be done.

Mr. W. Duggan did not think they had power to do so, s it was in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

Mr. Gunning said even if they had, they could not attempt putting any lien on it until they were satisfied that there was no other claim against it.

Mr. Grealy moved that Messrs. M'Causland and Fetherson be directed to have it again advertised.

Mr. Hart seconded the resolution suggesting a change in the upset price.
- Agreed to.
The Board then adjourned.

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