Mason's Parochial Survey, 1814-19

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Clare County Library


Union of Kilrush, Killard, Kilfieragh, Moyferta, and Kilballyhone

VII. The Education and Employment of Children, &c.

The education of the children here is irregular and imperfect, but a general desire for learning to read, write, and keep accounts prevails in every townland. The employment of the children interferes very much with their education, as they are constantly occupied in agriculture and the fisheries, or in saving turf, and leading the horses that draw it to the shores of the river.

Hedge Schools
The hedge schools are as miserable, and the books read in them as worthless as they have been observed to be in other parts of Ireland. Indeed so universally similar are the latter in this country, that a list of those found at the schools here in 1808, served to enumerate those at present used in one of the northern parishes, a survey of which appeared in the first volume of this work.

Classical Schools
Here are twenty-one schools, viz. at Kilrush, two classical schools; one of them kept by the Rev. Henry Allen, curate assistant to the incumbent of this union; number of pupils 32—and four English and arithmetical schools; the number of scholars 185. There are also four other schools there, at which 60 girls and 40 boys are taught.

2 schools in Killard number of scholars 160
4 schools in Kilfieragh   200
4 schools in Donaha   180
1 schools in Kilballyhone   50

The total number of pupils in all these schools amounts to 913.

In 1807, there were but eight schools in this union, and but 275 children taught in them (See Dutton’s Survey of Clare, page 238). This marks the progress of education and of the English language here.

Charter School
There was a charter school erected on the estate of Anthony Hickman, Esq. At Ballykett, early in the last century. It maintained 40 boys, and had two acres of ground annexed to it; but it has been for many years in ruins.

Irish MSS
Here are no public libraries, nor any manuscripts, except a few in the Irish character, preserved by a family of the MacMahons, in Carrigaholt. A public library at Kilrush would be a desirable acquisition there. It should be furnished with the English and Irish Farmer’s Journals, and Agricultural Magazines, with army and Navy Lists, the New Encyclopædia, and all the Statistical publications. The same room might serve as a kind of Exchange, and a closet adjoining it should be a repository for the Bible Society.

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