- Publisher: Royal Irish Academy
- Format: Hardback | 180 pages
- Dimensions: 210mm x 260mm x 38mm | 839g
- Publication date: 1 June 2014
- Publication City/Country: Dublin
- ISBN 10: 1908996218
- ISBN 13: 9781908996213
- Edition statement: New.
- Sales rank: 1,109,396
Former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald was researching and editing Irish primary education in the early eighteenth century at the time of his death. His work on this book has been completed by his son, John FitzGerald. This study uses the data contained in an 1824 British Parliamentary Inquiry to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the extent of the Irish schools system. This Inquiry was undertaken some years before the introduction of the national school system in Ireland. In an international context, the comprehensive nature of this information is most unusual for an early-19th century state. This study uses these data to analyse the geographical pattern of male/female and Catholic/Protestant school attendance at that time; the scale of payments by parents, (few children, and then mainly those of Anglican parents, received free education); and to discuss the extent to which this pattern may have been influenced by various factors such as geography, religion, and urbanisation; and, finally, the degree to which children of differing religions in different parts of the country shared the same schools. The analysis shows that there was a fair amount of mixed denominational education at the time. It also shows that at that stage 'hedge schools' were almost all taking place in some kind of structure - the idea of a literal hedge school is misinformed. Data are presented on the number of children at school, what sex they were, what they paid for school, what religion they were etc. We will publish these data electronically on open access to allow other scholars to interrogate the data.
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