Secondary School Education in Schools of the Irish Christian Brothers in Ireland, 1922–1962

  • Tom O’Donoghue
  • Judith Harford


In response to its continuing loss of temporal power from late in the eighteenth century, the Catholic Church became involved in reasserting its spiritual authority around the world. As part of this project, the Church insisted it had the right to organize its own schools, staff them with its own appointees and teach distinctively denominational doctrine. Heavily represented amongst the personnel involved were members of religious teaching orders, including members of orders established in Ireland. These new Catholic religious teaching orders, founded and run by middle-class men and women in Ireland, played their part alongside long-established orders and the diocesan colleges in the spread and consolidation of official Catholic doctrine, and in the associated process of class formation and class consolidation through using schools for ‘the imposition of bourgeois values and beliefs on the lower classes’.1


Primary School Corporal Punishment Religious Order County Council Primary Schoolteacher 
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  1. 1.
    M. P. Magray (1998). The Transforming Power of the Nuns: Women, Religion and Cultural Change in Ireland, 1750–1900. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 34.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. McLaughlin (2007). The Price of Freedom: Edmund Rice — Educational Leader. New South Wales: David Lovell Publishing.Google Scholar
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    The Christian Brothers (1960). St Mary’s Clonmel. Centenary Souvenir 18601960. Clonmel: Christian Brothers, np.Google Scholar
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    The Christian Brothers (1947). St Mary’s Christian Brothers’ School, Portlaoise. Centenary Record 1847–1947. Portlaoise: The Christian Brothers, 1947, p. 15.Google Scholar
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    The Christian Brothers (1950). The Educational Record, 1950. Dublin: The Christian Brothers, p. 20.Google Scholar
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    The Christian Brothers (1951). The Educational Record, 1951. Dublin: The Christian Brothers, p. 38.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tom O’Donoghue and Judith Harford 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom O’Donoghue
    • 1
  • Judith Harford
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of Western AustraliaAustralia
  2. 2.University College DublinIreland

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