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Barnes and most other writers give a largely favourable impression of the nineteenth century industrial schools system. On the other hand, John Fagan, who was appointed Inspector of Reformatory and Industrial Schools in 1897, criticised virtually all aspects of the system at the end of the nineteenth century, especially the physical conditions in the schools and the overall condition of the children. He was particularly critical of the poor hygiene and lack of cleanliness in the majority of the schools.22 Ó Cinnéide and Maguire summarise Fagan’s criticisms, and comment:23 conditions in many of the schools seem to have deteriorated around the turn of the century, in what Barnes termed a spirit of “complacency and a resistance to change”.
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