Na Scoileanna Nua - The New Schools

professor
A National Schoolmaster

Hedge Schools emerged out of the harshness of the Penal Laws (1702) which specified that "no person of the popish religion shall publicly or in private houses teach school, or instruct youth within this realm..." Anyone found guilty of doing so was fined £20 and sentenced to three months imprisonment. They were called hedge schools because class was often held behind hedges in the yard. Gaelic storytellers and musicians secretly taught Irish history, spelling, reading, geography, writing, arithmetic and Christian doctrine. The English government sponsored schools but the majority of the Irish population refused to use them. These schools called National Schools were clearly intended to convert the Irish to the Protestant Church. Although these new schools were to be non-denominational, they were objected to by Presbyterians in the North and later by Protestants and Catholics all over Ireland ... Criostoir O'Flynn

le Antaine Ó Raifteirí (1784-1835)

1. Is fada ó cuireadh síos go dtocfadh sé san saol
go ndoirfí fuil is go ndéanfaí sléachta,
De réir mar scríobh na naoimh sa bhliain a naoi tá baol
má ghéillimid don scrioptúr Naofa.

2. An balla a dhéantar fuar ní fhanann i bhfad suas,
sciorrann sé ón droch-foundation,
Ach an áit a ndeachaigh an t-aol ní chorróidh cloch as choích'
tá an charraig faoi ina suí nach bhléascfaidh.

3. Is síoraí sean an chúirt a síleadh a thabhairt anuas
ach 'sé 'mheasaim gur ní nach féidir,
Tá Naomh Peadar lena bruach agus Críost a chéas an slua
is coinneoidh siad na huain le chéile.

4. Adhaltranas is drúis a thosaigh an scéal ar dtús
agus Anraí a hOcht a thréig a chéile,
Ach díoltas, rith is ruaig ar Orangemen go luath
nach bhfuair riamh an consecration.

5. Ag éirí daoibh's ag luí, smaoinigí ar an Rí
a chrutaigh ar fad an cine daonna,
Is iomdha cior'sa ghaoithy ach ní lia ná sa saol
'gus is beag an chaoi le bhfaighimis réiteach.

6. Isebéal a shíl an eaglais a thabhairt faoi dhlí.
ag cur in aghaidh na beatha naofa,
Tá sí i ngéibheann thíos agus Liútar lena taoibh
Ag íoc go frua faoin reifirméisean.

7. Chuala mé mura bréag go dtiocfadh sé sa saol
go gcuirfí máistir léinn i ngach cúinne,
Níl sa gcás ach scéim ag mealladh uainn an tréad
agus diúltaigí do ghnóthaí Liútair.

8. Creidigí don chléir 's ná téigíar malairt féir,
nó caillfidh sibh Mac Dé is a chumhachta,
Is an long seo a chuaigh i léig, má théann sibh ann de léim
iompóidh sí is beidh sibh fúithi.

by Criostoir O'Flynn

Long since was written that 'twould come to pass,
bloodshed and a great slaughter,
The saints have warned us the year nine to mark
if we believe the holy authors.

The wall that's built cold will not long stand,
it slips from the bad foundation,
But where lime was laid the stones stay fast
on the base-rock they keep formation.
 

Ancient the court they hope to destroy
but I know that in vain they labour,
The crucified Christ stands guard by its side
with Peter to be the flock's saviour,
 

Lust and adultery were the source of the strife,
the eighth Henry his wife disclaiming,
But soon vengeance will put Orangemen to flight
who know not the consecration.

When you rise or go to rest think on that King
who created all human creatures,
The world changes fast like the varying wind,
a small chance may yet relieve us,

Elizabeth under laws thought the Church she'd bring,
denying every saintly declaration,
With Luthar she's confined, in suffering they're linked,
paying dearly for their "reformation".

I have heard, unless 'tis false, that soon we'll see
a teacher set up in every corner,
'Tis nothing but a scheme our flock to deceive,
so reject all these plots of Luther.

Believe our own pastors and don't move to new fields
or you'll forfeit the Son of God's power,
If you jump about this ship that's unsound at the seams
she'll overturn and drag you all under.


book
Seamus MacManus, in his book "The Story of the Irish Race ", describes the situation thus:
"Latin and Greek were often taught to ragged hunted ones under shelter of the hedges in Summer. A knowledge of Latin was a frequent enough accomplishment among poor Irish mountaineers in the seventeenth century and was spoken by many of them on special occasions. And it is authoritatively boasted that cows were bought and sold in Greek, in mountain market-places of Kerry." ...Seamus MacManus, 1921, ISBN 1-59605-063-2.

Courtesy of Jack & Vivian, IrishPage.com March 2008
From Blind Raftery by Criostoir O'Flynn, Cló Iar-Chonnachta, Connemara Ireland, 1998
Cf. Bertrand Library, Bucknell Univ. Lewisburg, Pa. 17837
This poem has 32 lines as printed. There are an additional 32 when complete.
Replay background music Liverpool.mid


Filleadh go liosta
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