Education for Ireland’s Poor at the End of the Long Eighteenth Century: Provision and Inquiry
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At the end of the long eighteenth century, ideas regarding education for all children of the nation began to gain currency in Ireland as well as internationally. The education envisaged for the poor was to be limited, however. This chapter looks at schooling for poor children in Ireland where Christian denominations vied for control of education. The chapter considers governmental reviews of schooling. It also examines the involvement of voluntary societies with education provision detailing the beginnings, aims and objectives of the most predominant of these. Some of the societies were larger, better funded and more effective than others. Whether or not the societies had avowedly proselytizing objectives, almost all, at some stage, were suspected of such activities. The Lord Lieutenant’s School Fund, which allowed a measure of public funding for elementary schooling, is also considered.