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1 entry for James Dillon


The daily adjournment debate (a maximum of 30 minutes in all, consisting of a speech from the member who initiated the debate, followed by a reply from the responsible Minister) enables a member to agitate some matter in a fairly narrow, often local, field. This might have seemed to be just the procedural vehicle for some allegations of individual injustice in a School to be ventilated. In fact it was seldom so used. One exceptional case in which it was invoked arose out of an incident in which a 14-year-old boy had his arm broken by a Brother at Artane using a sweeping brush when he refused to submit to additional beating. Both the Minister (Sean Moylan) and the Deputy, Captain Cowan, who raised the matter were concerned to emphasise that this was an ‘isolated incident’. In response to the debate, the Minister remarked rather broadly, that ‘this is an isolated incident...[and] any guarantee I give parents of full protection of their children is no licence to any of the children to do what they like’. He stated that he had visited practically all the schools and, rather unexpectedly, that ‘they are deficient in many things [and] in future a wider provision for expenditure must be made if these schools are to serve the purpose they ought to serve in the nation’. In one other rare adjournment debate, Deputy James Dillon set out the increasing figures for the committals by the Dublin Children’s Court and asked unavailingly that the Minister should review each individual committal.46

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