Read CHAPTER I of What's the Matter with Ireland?, free online book, by Ruth Russell, on



Is Ireland poor? I decided to base my answer to that question on personal investigation. I dressed myself as a working girl it is to the working class that seven-eighths of the Irish people belong and in a week in the slums of Dublin I found that lack of employment is continually driving the people to migration, low-wage slavery, or acceptance of charity.

At the woman’s employment bureau of the ministry of munitions, I discovered that 50,000 Irish boys and girls are annually sent to the English harvests, and that during the war there were 80,000 placements in the English munition factories.

“But I don’t want to leave home,” I heard a little ex-fusemaker say as we stood in queues at the chicken-wire hatch in the big bare room turned over by the ministry of munitions for the replacement of women who had worked on army supplies. Her voice trembled with the uncertainty of one who knew she could not dictate.

“Then you’ve got to be a servant,” said the direct young woman at the hatch. “There’s nothing left in Ireland but domestic jobs.”

“Isn’t you told me there might be something in Belfast?”

“Linen mills are on part time now no chance. There’s only one place for good jobs now that’s across the channel.”

The little girl bit her lip. She shook her head and went out the rear exit provided for ex-war workers. Together we splashed into the broken-bricked alley that was sloppy with melting spring sleet.

“Maybe she doesn’t know everything,” said the little girl, fingering a religious medal that shone beneath her brown muffler. “Maybe some one’s dropped out. Let’s say a prayer.”

Through the cutting sleet we bent our way to Dublin’s largest factory a plant where 1,000 girls are employed at what are the best woman’s wages in Dublin, $4.50 to $10 a week.

“You gotta be pretty brassy to ask for work here,” said the little girl. “Everybody wants to work here. But you can’t get anything unless you’re b-brassy, can you?”

We entered a big-windowed, red-bricked factory, and in response to our timid application, a black-clad woman shook her head wearily. Down a puddly, straw-strewn lane we were blown to one of the factories next in size a fifty to 100 hand factory is considered big in Dublin. The sign on the door was scrawled:

“No Hands Wanted.”

But in the courage of companionship we mounted the black, narrow-treaded wooden stairs to a box-littered room where white-aproned girls were nailing candy containers together. While we waited for the manager to come out, we stood with bowed heads so that the sleet could pool off our hats, and through a big crack in the plank floor we could see hard red candies swirling below. Suddenly we heard a voice and looked up to see the ticking-aproned manager spluttering:

“Well, can’t you read?”

Up in a loft-like, saw-dusty room where girls were stuffing dolls and daubing red paint on china cheeks, an excited manager declared he was losing his own job. The new woman’s trade union league wanted him to pay more than one dollar a week to his girls. He would show the union his books. Wasn’t it better to have some job than none at all?

Down the wet street, now glinting blindingly in the late sun, we walked into a grubby little tea shop for a sixpenny pot of tea between us. Out of my pocket I pulled a wage list of well-paying, imagination-stirring jobs in England. There were all sorts of jobs from toy-making at $8.25 a week to glass-blowing at $20. On the face of the little girl as she told me that she would meet me at the ministry of munitions the next morning there was a look of worried indecision.

That night along Gloucester street, past the Georgian mansion houses built before the union of Ireland and England great, flat-faced, uprising structures behind whose verdigrised knockers and shattered door fans comes the murmur of tenements I walked till I came to a much polished brass plate lettered “St. Anthony’s Working Girls’ Home.”

“Why don’t you go to England?” was the first question the matron put to me when I told her that I could get no factory work. “All the girls are going.”

In the stone-flagged cellar the girls were cooking their individual dinners at a stove deep set in the stone wall. A big, curly-haired girl was holding bread on a fork above the red coals.

“Last time I got lonesome,” she was admitting. “But the best parlor maid job here is $60 a year. And over at Basingstoke in England I’ve one waiting for me at $150 a year. If you want to live nowadays I suppose you’ve gotta be lonesome.”

Next day at the alley of the employment bureau, I met the little girl of the day before. She said a little dully:

“Well, I took shirt-making Edinburgh.”

Instead of migrating, a girl may marry. But her husband in most cases can’t make enough money to support a family. To keep an average family of five, just going, on food alone, costs $370 a year. Some farm hands get only $100. An average unskilled worker obtains $260 a year. An organized unskilled worker receives $367, and an organized skilled worker, $539. Therefore, if a girl marries, she has not only to bear children but to go out to work beside. Their constant toil makes the women of Ireland something less than well-cared-for slaves.

Take the mother in Dublin. In Dublin there have long been too many casual laborers. One-third of Dublin’s population of 300,000 are in this class. Now, while wages for some sorts of casual labor like dock work increased during the war, it has become almost impossible for Dublin laborers to get a day’s job. For the unemployed are flocking for the good wages from the four fields of Ireland. On the days the man is out of work the woman must go out to wash or “char.” I understood these conditions better after I spent a night in a typical one-room home in the dockers’ quarters near the Liffey.

Widow Hannan was my hostess. The widow is a strong, black-haired young woman who took an active part in the rebellion of 1916, and whose husband was killed fighting under James Connolly. We slept in the first floor front. In with the widow lay her three children, and in the cot catty-corner from the bed I was bunked. Just when the night air was thinning to gray there was a shattering rap on the ground-level window. The half-dressed young factory daughter clambered over the others and ripped down the rain coat that served as a night-time window curtain. Against the square-paned window was hunched a forward-shouldered woman.

As she was being beckoned to the door, I rose, and to do my hair had to wedge myself in between the breakfast-table and the filmy mirror that hung among the half-tone pictures of the rebels of 1916. On the iron mantel, gray with coal dust, there was a family comb.

“God save all here,” said the neighbor entering. “Mary, himself’s had no work for four days. Keep the young ones out of the grate for me. I’ve got to go out washing.”

“My sister-in-law has a husband and seven children to support,” said the widow in explanation to me. “During the war, he could do with her going out just once in a while now it’s all the time.” Then to the sister-in-law: “I’ve a wash myself today.”

The big shoes that must once have belonged to the visitor’s man, hit the floor loosely as she walked slowly out. Then as lodger I was given the only chair at the breakfast-table. The mother and girl sat at a plank bench and supped their tea from their saucerless cups. As there was no place else to sit, the children took their bread and jam as they perched on the bed, and when they finished, surreptitiously wiped their fingers on the brown-covered hay mattress. Before we were through, they had run to the street and back to warm their cold legs inside the fender till the floor was tracked with mud from the street, ashes from the grate, and bits of crumbled bread.

In the evening I heard the murmur of revolution. With the shawled mothers who line the lane on a pleasant evening, I stood between the widow and a twenty-year-old girl who held her tiny blind baby in her arms. Across the narrow street with its water-filled gutters, barefoot children in holey sweaters or with burlap tied about their shoulders, slapped their feet as they jigged, or jumped at hop-scotch. Back of them in typical Dublin decay rose the stables of an anciently prosperous shipping concern; in the v dip of the roofless walls, spiky grass grew and through the barred windows the wet gray sky was slotted. Suddenly the girl-mother spoke:

“Why, there’s himself coming back, Mary. See him turning up from the timber on the quay. There was sorrow in his eyes like the submarine times when he came to tell me no boat docked this morning. Baby or no baby, I’ll have to get work for myself, for he’s not given me a farthing for a fortnight.”

A big Danish-looking chap was homing towards the door. Without meeting the girl’s eyes, he slunk into the doorway. His broad shoulders sagged under his sun-faded coat, and he blocked the light from the glassless window on the staircase as he disappeared. When he slouched out again his hand dropped from his hip pocket.

“It’s to drill he’s going,” The young mother snugged her shawl in more tightly about her baby. Then she said with a little break in her voice: “Oh, it’s very pleasant, just this, with the girls jigging and rattling their legs of a spring evening.”

A girl’s voice defiantly telling a soldier that if he didn’t wear his civvies when he came to call he needn’t come at all, rose clearly from a dark doorway. A lamplighter streaked yellow flame into the square lamp hanging from the stone shell opposite. A jarvey, hugging a bundle of hay, drove his horse clankingly over the cobblestones. Then grimly came the whisper of the widow of the rebellion close to my ear:

“Oh, we’ll have enough in the army this time.”

Difficult as the Irish worker’s fight is, the able person is loath to give up and accept charity. But whether she wants to or not, if she can’t find work she must go to the poorhouse. Before the war it was estimated that over one-half the inmates of the Irish workhouses were employable. During the war, when there were more jobs than usual to be had, there was a great exodus from the hated poorhouse; there was a drop in workhouse wards from 400,000 to 250,000. But now jobs are getting less again and there is a melancholy return back over the hills to the poorhouse.

Night refuges, I found, are the last stage in this journey. There, with every day out of work, women become more unemployable clothes and constitutions wear out; minds lose hope in effort and rely on luck. As I sat with a tableful of charwomen and general housework girls in a refuge in Dublin, I read two ads from the paper. One offered a job for a general servant with wages at $50 a year. The other ran: “Wanted: a strong humble general housework girl to live out; $1.25 a week.” I put the choice up to the table.

“If you haven’t anybody of your own to live with,” advised a husky-voiced, mufflered girl next me as she warmed her fingers about her mug of tea and regarded me from under her cotton velvet hat with some suspicion, “you should get the job living with the family. It takes five dollars a week to live by yourself.” Then forestalling a protest she added: “You’ll get two early evenings off at eight o’clock.”

“Whatever you get, don’t let it go.” A bird-faced woman leaned over the table so that the green black plume of her charity bonnet wagged across the center of the table. With her little warning eyes still on my face she settled back impressively. As she extracted a half sheet of newspaper from under her beaded cape and furtively wrapped up one of the two “hunks” of bread that each refugee got, she continued: “Once I gave up a place because they let me have just potatoes and onions for dinner. No, hold on to whatever you get whatever.” And after we had night prayers that were so long drawn out that someone moaned: “Do they want to scourge us with praying?”, the old charwoman repeated the hopeless words: “Hold on to whatever you get whatever.”

In the pale gold light that flooded through the windows of the sixty-bed dormitory, the women turned down the mussed toweling sheets from the bolsters across the reddish gray spreads.

“My clothes dried on me after the rain, and I do be coughing till my chest is sore,” said the girl who had sat next me at the table and was next me in the sleeping room. “There was too many at the dispensary to wait.”

Out of a sagging pocket in her creased mackintosh she took a clothes brush. She slipped her skirt from under her coat and with her blue-cold hand passed the flat brush back and forth over the muddy hem.

“If I had a bit o’ black for my shoes now with your clothes I could get me a housemaid’s job easy,” Her muffler covered the fact that she had no shirtwaist. Then she added encouragingly: “You’d better get a job quick. There’s only one blanket on these beds and clothes run down using them for covers at night.”

Opposite us a gray-cheeked mother was wrapping a black petticoat about the legs of a small child. She tucked the little girl in the narrow bed they were both to sleep in, and babbled softly to the drowsy child:

“No place yet. My heart do be falling out o’ me. Well, I’m not to blame because it’s you that keeps me from getting it. You ” she bent over the bed and ended sharply: “Oh, my darling, shall we die in Dublin?”

Through the dusk, above the sound of coughing and canvas stretching as the women settled themselves for the night, there rose the soft voices of two women telling welcome fairy stories to each other:

“It was a wild night,” said one. “She was going along the Liffey, and the wind coming up from the sea blew the cape about her face and she half fell into the water. He caught her, they kept company for seven years and then he married her. Who do you suppose he turned out to be? Why, a wealthy London baker. Och, God send us all fortune.”

There was silence, then the whisper of the mother:

“Look up to the windows, darling. There’s just a taste of daylight left.”

Gradually it grew dark and quiet in this vault of human misery. Then, far away from some remote chapel in the house, there floated the triumphant words of the practising choir:

“Alleluia! Alleluia!”


What do emigration and low wages do to Irish health? Social conditions result in an extraordinary percentage of tuberculosis and lunacy, and in a baby shortage in Ireland. Individual propensities to sexual excess or common crime are, incidentally, responsible for little of the ill health in Ireland.

Ireland’s tuberculosis rate is higher than that of most of the countries in the “civilized” world. Through Sir William Thompson, registrar-general of Ireland, I was given much material about tuberculosis in Ireland. An international pre-war chart showed Ireland fourth on the tuberculosis list it was exceeded only by Austria, Hungary, and Servia. During the war, Ireland’s tuberculosis mortality rate showed a tendency to increase; in 1913, her death list from tuberculosis was 9,387 and in 1917 it was 9,680.

Emigration is heat to the tuberculosis thermometer. Why? Sir Robert Matheson, ex-registrar-general of Ireland, explained at a meeting of the Woman’s National Health Association. The more fit, he said, emigrate, and the less fit stay home and propagate weak children. Besides, emigrants who contract the disease elsewhere come home to die. Many so return from the United States. Numbers of the 50,000 annual migrants from the west coast of Ireland to the English harvests return to nurse the tuberculosis they contracted across the channel. Dr. Birmingham, of the Westport Union, is quoted as saying that in September a disease known locally as the “English cold” is prevalent among the young men who have been harvesting in England. Sometimes it is simple bronchitis. Mostly it is incipent phthisis. It is easily traced to the wretched sleeping places called “Paddy houses” in which Irish laborers are permitted to be housed in England. These “Paddy houses” are often death traps crowded, dark, unventilated barns in which the men have to sleep on coarse bags on the floor.

The Irish wage causes tuberculosis to mount higher. Dr. Andrew Trimble, chief tuberculosis officer for Belfast, comments on the fact that the sex affected proves that economic conditions are to blame. Under conditions of poverty, women become ill more quickly than men. Dr. Trimble writes: “In Belfast and in Ireland generally more females suffer from tuberculosis than males. In Great Britain, however, the reverse is the case.... In former years, however, they had much the same experience as we have in Ireland ... and it would be necessary to go back over twenty-five years to come to a point where the mortality from tuberculosis among women equalled that now obtaining with us. It would seem that the hardships associated with poor economic conditions insufficient wages, bad housing and want of fresh air, good food and sufficient clothing tell more heavily on the female than on the male, and with the march of progress and better conditions of living ... tuberculosis amongst women is automatically reduced."

The Irish wage must choose a tuberculosis incubator for a home. Ireland is a one-room-home country. In the great “rural slum” districts, the one-room cabin prevails. Country slums exist where homes cannot be supported by the land they are built on they occur, for instance, in the rocky fields of Galway and Donegal and in the stripped bog lands of Sligo. Galway and Donegal cabins are made of stones wrested from the ground; in Mayo, the walls are piled sod mud cabins. Roofing these western homes is the “skin o’ th’ soil” or sod with the grass roots in it. Through the homemade roofs or barrel chimneys the wet Atlantic winds often pour streams of water that puddle on the earthen floors. At one end of the cabin is a smoky dent that indicates the fireplace; and at the other there may be a stall or two. The small, deep-set windows are, as a rule, “fixed.” Rural slums are rivaled by city slums. Even in the capital of Ireland the poor are housed as badly as in the west of Ireland. Looking down on the city of Dublin from the tower of St. Patrick’s cathedral, one can see roofs so smashed in that they look as if some giant had walked over them; great areas so packed with buildings that there are only darts of passageways for light and air. In ancient plaster cabins, in high old edifices with pointed Huguenot roofs, in Georgian mansion tenements, there are 25,000 families whose homes are one-room homes. Dublin’s proportion of those who live more than two to a room is higher than that of any other city in the British Isles London has 16.8; Edinburgh, 31.1; Dublin, 37.9. In one-room homes tuberculosis breeds fast. A table from the dispensary for tuberculosis patients, an institution built in Dublin as a memorial to the American, P.F. Collier, shows that out of 1,176 cases 676 came from one-room homes. As a type case, the report instances this: “Nine members of the W family were found living in one room together in a condition bordering on starvation. Both parents were very tubercular. The father had left the Sanatorium of the South Dublin Union on hearing of the mother’s delicacy. He hoped to earn a little to support the family that had been driven to such a state through illness that, houseless, it had had to sleep on stairs. The only regular income was $1.12 a week earned by the eldest girl, aged 16, in a factory. Owing to want of food and unhealthy surroundings, she was in so run down a condition that it seemed certain she would become tubercular if not at once removed.”

The Irish wage can’t buy the “good old diet.” Milk and stirabout and potatoes once grew rosy-cheeked children. But bread and tea is the general diet now. War rations? Ireland was not put on war rations. To regulate the amount of butter and bacon per family would have been superfluous labor. Few families got even war rations. Charitable organizations doubt if they should give relief to families who are able to have an occasional meal of potatoes in addition to their bread and tea. In a recent pamphlet the St. Vincent de Paul Society said: “A widow ... who after paying the rent of her room, has a shilling a day to feed herself and two, three, four or even more children, is considered a doubtful case by the society. Yet a shilling a day will only give the family bread and tea for every meal, with an occasional dish of potatoes. By strict economy a little margarine may be purchased, but by no process of reasoning may it be said that the family has enough to eat, or suitable food.” The Irish wage would have to be a high wage to buy the old diet. For that is not supplied by Ireland for Ireland any more. When Ireland became a cow lot, cereal and vegetable crops became few. But milk should be plentiful? The recent vice-regal milk commission noted the lack of milk for the poor in Ireland. Why? The town of Naas tells one reason. Naas is in the midst of a grazing country, but Naas babies have died for want of milk, because Naas cattle are raised for beef exportation. The town of Ennis tells another reason. Ennis is also in the center of a grazing country. Until the Woman’s National Health Association established a depot, Ennis poor could not get retailed pitchersful of milk, for Ennis cows are raised to supply wholesale cansful to creameries which make the supply into dairy products for exportation.

Bread-and-tea, and bread-and-tealess families get on the calling list of tuberculosis nurses. “The nurses often found,” writes the Woman’s National Health Association, “that a large number of cases committed to their care were in an advanced stage of the disease ... in a number of cases families have been found entirely without food. This chronic state of lack of nourishment ... accounts in part for the fact that there are two and sometimes three persons affected in the same family."

Has mental as well as physical health been affected? Lunacy is extraordinarily prevalent in Ireland. In the lunacy inspectors’ office in Dublin castle, I was given the last comparison they had published of the insanity rates in England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland. English and Welsh insanity per 10,000 people was 40.8; Scottish, 45.4; Irish, 56.2. The Irish rate for 1916 showed an increase to 57.1.

Emigration, remark lunacy experts, fostered lunacy. Whole families withdrew from certain districts. Consanguineous marriages became more frequent. Weak-minded cousins wedded to bring forth weaker-minded children.

And Irish living conditions are a nemesis. They affect those who go as well as those who stay. Commenting on the fact that the Irish contribute the highest proportion of the white foreign-born population to the American hospitals for the insane, as well as filling their own asylums, the lunacy inspectors write: “As to why this should be, we can offer no reasoned explanation: but just as the Irish famine was, apart from its direct effects, responsible for so much physical and mental distress in the country, so it would seem not improbable that the innutritious dietary and other deprivations of the majority of the population of Ireland must, when acting over many generations, have led to impaired nutrition of the nervous system, and in this way have developed in the race those neuropathic and psychopathic tendencies which are precursors of insanity."

Babies don’t like mentally and physically worn-out parents. Babies used to be thought to have special predilection for Ireland. But as a matter of fact, they come to the island less and less. Ireland has for some time produced fewer babies to the thousand people than Scotland. During the decade 1907-1916 Scotland’s annual average to every thousand people was 25.9; Ireland’s was 22.8. From 1907 to 1917 Ireland’s total number of babies fell from 101,742 to 86,370.

But as was said in the beginning, it is not to individual excess that most of the ill health in Ireland is due. It was not until recently that venereal disease as a factor in Irish ill health has been a factor worth mentioning. In 1906 a lunacy report read: “The statistics show that general paralysis of the insane a disease now almost unknown in Ireland is increasing in the more populous urban districts. At the same time the disease is still much less prevalent than in other countries, and in the rural districts it is practically non-existent. This is to a large extent due to the high standard of sexual morality that prevails all over Ireland."

Nor do the Irish suffer from the violence that accompanies common crime for there is little crime under the most crime-provoking conditions. As the Countess of Aberdeen said: “In the past annual report by Sir Charles Cameron, the medical officer of health for Dublin, there are again some figures that tell a strange tale of poverty so widespread, of destitution so complete, of housing so unsanitary, of unemployment so little heeded, that one is amazed by the fact that no combined effort on the part of more fortunate citizens has been made toward bringing about a wholesome change, and this amazement is only lessened by the extraordinary freedom we in Dublin enjoy from robberies, peculations, from crimes of violence and other misdeeds that would sharpen our perception of miseries now borne with a fortitude and a self-restraint that cannot but appeal strongly to any who, either from personal experience or philanthropic reading, know how crime and vice are associated elsewhere with conditions not more distressing and often less long-lived than ours."


There’s small chance for the Irish to better their condition through education. Many Irish children don’t go to school. It is estimated that out of 500,000 school children, 150,000 do not attend school. Why not? Here are two reasons advanced by the Vice-Regal Committee on Primary Education, Ireland, in its report published by His Majesty’s Stationers, Dublin, 1919:

Many families are too poor.

England does not encourage Irish education.

Irish poverty is recognized in the school laws; the Irish Education act passed by Parliament in 1892 is full of excuses for children who must go to work instead of to school. Thousands of Irish youngsters must avail themselves of these excuses. Ireland has 64,000 children under the age of 14 at work. But Scotland with virtually the same population has only 37,500.

Eight-year-old Michael Mallin drags kelp out of a rush basket and packs it down for fertilizer between the brown ridges of the little hand-spaded field in Donegal.

“Is there no school to be going to, Michael?”

“There do be a school, but to help my da’ there is no one home but me.”

The act says that the following is a “reasonable excuse for the non-attendance of a child, namely, ... being engaged in necessary operations of husbandry."

Ten-year-old Margaret Duncan can be found sitting hunched up on a doorstep in a back street in Belfast. Her skirt and the step are webbed with threads clipped from machine-embroidered linen, or pulled from handkerchiefs for hemstitching. A few doors away little Helen Keefe, all elbows, is scrubbing her front steps.

“But school’s on.”

“Aye,” responds Margaret, “but our mothers need us.”

The act plainly states that another reasonable excuse is “domestic necessity or other work requiring to be done at a particular time or season."

William Brady has a twelve-hour day in Dublin. He’s out in the morning at 5:30 to deliver papers. He’s at school until three. He runs errands for the sweet shop till seven.

“You get too tired for school work. How does your teacher like that?”

“Ash! She can’t do anything.”

Intuitively he knows that he can protect himself behind the fortress of words in the school attendance act: “A person shall not be deemed to have taken a child into his employment in contravention of this act if it is proved that the employment by reason of being during the hours when school is not in session does not interfere with the efficient elementary instruction of the child."

Nine-year-old Patrick Gallagher may go to the Letterkenny Hiring Fair and sell his baby services to a farmer. Some one may say to Paddy:

“Why aren’t you at school?”

“Surely, I live over two miles away from school.”

The law thinks two miles are too far for him to walk. So he may be hired to work instead. Reads the education act: “A person shall not be deemed to have taken a child into his employment in contravention of this act if it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that during the employment there is not within two miles ... from the residence of the child any ... school which the child can attend."

Incidentally England does not encourage Irish education. England does not provide enough money to erect the best schools nor to attract the best teachers. But England agreed to an Irish education grant. She established a central board of education in Ireland, and promised that through this board she would pay two-thirds of the school building bill and teachers’ salaries to any one who was zealous enough to erect a school. Does England come through with the funds? Not, says the vice-regal committee, unless she feels like it. In 1900 she agreed with Ireland that Ireland’s teachers should be paid higher salaries, but stipulated that the increase in salaries would not mean an immediate increase in grants.

New building grants were suspended altogether for a time. In 1902, an annual grant of L185,000 was diverted from Irish primary education and used for quite extraneous purposes. And when England does give money for Irish education, she pays no heed to the requirements stated by the Irish commissioners of education. Instead she says: “This amount I happen to be giving to English education; I will grant a proportionate amount to Irish education.”

“If English primary education happens to require financial aid from the Treasury, Irish primary education is to get some and in proportion thereto,” writes the committee. “If England happens not to require any, then, of course, neither does Ireland. A starving man is to be fed only if some one else is hungry.... It seems to us extraordinary that Irish primary education should be financed on lines that have little relation to the needs of the case."

So there are not enough schools to go to. Belfast teachers testified before the committee that in their city alone there were 15,000 children without school accommodations. Some of the number are on the streets. Others are packed into educational holes of Calcutta. New schools, said the teachers, are needed not only for these pupils but also for those incarcerated in unsuitable schools unheated schools or schools in whose dark rooms gas must burn daily. On the point of unsuitability, the testimony of a special investigator named F.H. Dale was quoted. He said:

“I have no hesitation in reporting that both in point of convenience for teachers and in the requirements necessary for the health of teachers and scholars, the average school buildings in Dublin and Belfast are markedly inferior to the average school buildings now in use in English cities of corresponding size.”

So if unsuitable schools were removed, Belfast would have to provide for some thousands of school children beyond the estimate of 15,000, and other localities according to their similar great need.

Live, interesting primary teachers are few in Ireland. The low pay does not begin to compensate Irish school teachers for the great sacrifices they must make. Women teachers in Ireland begin at $405 a year; men at $500. If it were not for the fact that there are very few openings for educated young men and women in a grazing country there would probably be even greater scarcity. Since three-fourths of the schools are rural those who determine to teach must resign themselves to social and professional hermitage. What is the result of these factors on the teaching morale? The 1918 report at the education office shows 13,258 teachers, and only 3,820 of these are marked highly efficient.

Thus the committee of the lord lieutenant.