Thursday, 5 May 1960
Dáil Eireann Debate
4. Mr. Sherwin: asked the Minister for Social Welfare the number of national schools in Dublin City where meals are not supplied to children; and the number of private schools (primary) where children of the working class are catered for and where the free meals scheme does not operate.
Mr. Kennedy: The answer to the first part of the question is that 98 national schools in Dublin City have not sought to participate in the School Meals Scheme operating under the Education (Provision of Meals) Acts 1914 to 1930.
As regards the second part of the question, it is provided in Section 3 of the Education (Provision of Meals) Act 1914 that free school meals may be supplied only to children attending recognised national schools, who are unable by reason of lack of food to take advantage of the education provided for them. There is no provision for the supply of meals to children attending private schools. There is no information in my Department as to the number of such schools which cater for children of the working class.
Mr. Sherwin: The Parliamentary Secretary has said that 98 schools are not supplied with school meals. Is he aware that it rests entirely with the managers of schools whether meals are obtained for the children or not? It depends on them and one person, if he is a snob, may not see to it that the children get meals in school.
Mr. Sherwin: Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that according to the Act, the school managers must ask for meals; otherwise, the children must go without meals? If that be the case, will he amend this legislation to ensure that whether the managers like it or not, they must apply? There are 50,000 children at school who are not getting meals——
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