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Schools in Lismore 1824 Part III

There is no apparent animosity in Lismore, between the Roman Catholic and Protestant clergy or population.  The archdeacon and vicars here give a very favourable report of the priest, and he seems to have no jealousy of them.  The Duke of Devonshire is very liberal, in every sense of the word, - expends large sums on roads, bridges, and other public improvements, both here and on his estates in Youghal and Bandon…and though he patronizes the Cork Hibernian Society, and the Kildare-Street Society, on his estates, the Roman Catholic clergy manifest no open hostility to their operations in this quarter.  His Grace bestows ground for building churches and chapels, an application either from persons of the Church of Ireland, or of the Roman Catholic communion and subscribes towards their support; the former as the established religion, the latter as that of the mass of the population.  With respect to Presbyterian or protestant Dissenters, no similar application has yet been made from these bodies.  Lismore is an open field for the Dissenting Societies; being entirely neglected by the wealthy dignitaries of the Diocesan Church, and their employees.  We passed the afternoon at Lismore Castle, with Colonel C’s. family; the castle is beautifully placed.

20 October 1824

Went with Colonel C. by Tallagh (sic) to Youghal…Amassing proofs of his popularity with the inhabitants of this rude country- all the huts near the road pouring out their half-naked swarms of children, who followed the carriage as long as they could run, merely repeating his name- all the Saxon, probably, which they know.  Many improvements begun, even in this bare region; enclosures; stone houses on a few of the farms, draining, and other marks of culture on the Dukes’ lands; and notable contract between these and the Deanery and the Church Lands, which intersect them near Lismore, and which are in the rudest neglect, being let and re-let merely to the highest bidder, without anything expended to ameliorate them.  The plan of rack-rent, and continued expulsion of tenantry thence resulting, is surely in all cases a miserable policy, as well as an occasion of much cruelty and oppression… We returned to Lismore. Col C. showed me an extract of the will and settlement of Richard, Earl of Cork, bequeathing funds for the support of his Free Schools, founded by him at Lismore and Youghal; but in the deed there is no farther specification, or condition explanatory of their object. They are now chiefly called classical schools; and the masters do not hold themselves bound to teach any scholar gratis. 

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