Education in Ireland

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In this essay I will argue that the Church, above all else, was to have the most profound effect on schooling in Ireland from 1922 to 1965. Firstly, it is necessary to look at the beliefs of this period that allowed the church to inform schooling. Secondly, we will look at what informed schooling in each decade. Finally, we will conclude on our findings.

1. Social, Cultural, Political backgrounds 1922-1965
In the 19th century the Catholic laity provided an all encompassing definition of reality with religion dictating the curriculum of national schools (Fuller, 2002, 2005). In 1922 the new nation emerged with this identity and an emphasis of reviving the Irish language. The emergent hegemony was Catholic and it was their social, cultural and political beliefs and hence their identity that was to prevail (O’Mahoney and Delanty, 2001). In the 1920s and 1930s Cosgrave and De Valera ensured that the Catholic moral code was upheld by legislation and cultural nationalism (Fuller 2002). Archbishop McQuaid was involved in the new constitution in 1937 which replaced the 1922 constitution. Articles 41-44 were particularly Catholic. Article 42 provided a summary of Catholic teaching on education. All sorts of forces were at work to make Ireland a more totally committed Catholic state. Mr Justice Gavin Duffy throughout the 1940s invoked new legal precedents favourable to Catholic viewpoint. In 1948 John A. Costello sent the following message to Pope Pius XII: ‘to strive for the attainment of social order in Ireland based on Christian principles’. During the 1950s Archbishop McQuaid saw the Taoiseach off at the airport as he went away to public engagements. Our devotion could be seen in packed churches and ceremonies giving the world view of Catholic Ireland in the decades following independence (Fuller, 2002).

2. Social, Cultural, Political beliefs that informed Schooling 1922-1965 By 1922 the church knew that control over education was a vital means of transmitting...
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