Location: Mansion House Oak Room. Private meeting.
A resolution from the Ard-Fheis of the Gaelic League asking Dáil Eireann to appoint a Minister for the Irish Language was read by an CEANN COMHAIRLE.
The ACTING-PRESIDENT stated that the Ministry had not taken any action on the subject of this resolution, as it was a matter for the Dáil to deal with.
T. MACSUIBHNE (Cork Mid) moved that a Minister for the Irish Language be appointed.
L. DE ROISTE (Cork City) suggested that a Minister of Education be appointed. The applications for recognition received from some of the Gaelic Colleges and the Limerick Technical Schools showed the necessity for such an appointment.
The Dáil did not appoint a Minister for education; historians have speculated that this reflected a wish to avoid alienating the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
CATHAL BRUGHA (Waterford Co.) agreed as to the desirability of appointing a Minister of Education. He asked the Ceann Comhairle whether that would meet the views of the Gaelic League.
AN CEANN COMHAIRLE said that while it would ill-become him to oppose such a resolution, he thought the Gaelic League, with their 25 years' experience of the work, might be expected to deal efficiently with the subject, and more efficiently perhaps than any Ministry now to be set up. He was of opinion that the question might very well be allowed to stand over until after Mr. de Valera returned from America. There was no urgency about the matter.
T. MACSUIBHNE (Cork Mid) said that whilst the Gaelic League machinery was efficient, the Dáil would have more influence in the work of restoring the Irish language. He was willing to accept the proposition that a Minister for Education be appointed.
J.N. DOLAN (Leitrim Co.) supported the appointment of a Minister for Irish by the Dáil. This Minister could work in conjunction with the Gaelic League.
Dr. CROWLEY (Mayo N.) supported the motion.
CATHAL BRUGHA (Waterford Co.) thought President de Valera had some definite reason for not appointing a Minister of Education when he was constituting his Ministry. He thought such an appointment should be deferred until the President returned. Meantime it was essential that the authority of Dáil Eireann should be placed behind the Gaelic League. He thought, therefore, that pending the President's return a Minister for Irish should be appointed. He disagreed with the Ceann Comhairle when he said that there was no urgency about the matter. He moved that they appoint the President of the Gaelic League as Minister for Irish under Dáil Eireann.
Seán Ó Ceallaigh (John. J. O'Kelly) was appointed Minister for Irish on 7 November 1919. He was president of the Gaelic League and Ceann Ionaid (Deputy Speaker) of the Dáil.
LIAM DE ROISTE (Cork City) explained that his idea was that a Minister for Irish should be conversant with the whole problem of Primary Education, so that he would be able to assign to the Language its proper place on the curriculum.
T. MACSUIBHNE (Cork Mid) seconded the motion of the member for Waterford Co.
An CEANN COMHAIRLE said that before deciding on the question, so far as it concerned him personally he should like to consult the Gaelic League, of which he was President.
The ACTING-PRESIDENT suggested that the appointment be left to the Ministry, and that the motion be taken as an expression of the opinion of the Dáil that the President of the Gaelic League should be appointed to the position.
The proposer and seconder of the motion agreed with this suggestion, and it was put and carried without dissent.
Applications from the Ard-Sgoil and from Colaiste Nua-Ghaedhilge na Gaillimhe for recognition by the Dáil were presented to the House.
The ACTING-PRESIDENT suggested that these be referred to the Minister for the Irish Language when appointed, and this course was agreed to.