Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)
Leighlin Road, Graiguecullen.
Parochial School Returns 1824
On 14 June 1824 the English Government appointed a Royal Commission consisting of tour Protestants, Thomas F. Lewis, John L. Foster, William Grant, James Glassford and one Catholic, Anthony Richard Blake to enquire into the nature and extent education in Ireland as maintained in whole or in part from public funds, and to report on how education can be extended to all the people of Ireland.
The Commission sat until June 1827 and cost toe country £40,000. Dr. Doyle’s caustic comments on the First Report of the Commission leave no doubt as to its biased and prejudiced character. A Second Report was issued in due time by the Commission. Returns consisting of 1 5 queries were sent to every parish priest or non-Catholic minister.
These were sent back, but were published only in summary and partial form. The returns themselves were probably destroyed. The setting up of the Royal Commission only made Dr. Doyle more cautious and vigilant. He advised his parish priests to forward duplicate returns to himself. Over three-fourths of these duplicate parochial returns are preserved in the Bishop’s archives.
These were published by Monsignor Martin Brenan, P.P., DPh., V.F., Gill, Dublin 1935. Where the parochial returns are-not available, Blue Book Summaries are supplied. These parochial returns seem to be unique for Kildare and Leighlin diocese.
There were a number of houses on Leighlin Road most of them have now been demilished to make way for new houses and apartments.
On the map above there is:
Somerton House is on the Leighlin Road, Graiguecullen, for many years it was the Parochial House occupied by successive Graiguecullen Parish priests (up to Father Paddy Byrne in the 1970s,) Some years ago the house was bought by the late Bobby Millar, a former Dublin footballer, he was one time trainer of the Laois County GAA team, he died suddenly whilst attending a football game about 6 year ago. At Bobby's request I completed a history of the house, I think it dated back to early 1800s, I am not sure if the building remains today. Source: Michael Purcell c.2012