17 MAY 1879, Page 3

The O'Conor Don was enabled on Thursday, by the help

of the Government, to introduce a Bill for dealing with the Irish University question on principles analogous to the middle- class education measure of last year, and the conversation which ensued made it evident that the wish of all parties in the House to hear of a compromise really acceptable to the Irish Catholics, was very distinctly marked. It is, of course, quite too soon to express an opinion on the Bill, of which we have at present only a very general outline. Indeed, it appears very doubtful how far the Irish Bishops, without whose co-operation no compromise is practicable, will be satis- fied with the O'Connor Don's proposal. The general drift of that proposal is to establish a new Irish University, to be called "the University of St. Patrick's," with Colleges affiliated. to it, none of which shall be colleges now affiliated to any other Irish University, and none of which shall be intermediate schools Any college so affiliated to the new University must have at least twenty students of eighteen years of age in residence, so that small private institutions will be excluded. The new University is to be endowed with a sum of a million and a half out of the surplus of the Disestablishment Fund, and is, first, to confer exhibitions and scholarships (after examination) on students of these affiliated Colleges, for proficiency in secular subjects only ; next, to be permitted to pay professors of secular subjects in these affiliated Colleges, when presented to them by these affiliated Colleges, if it thinks fit; and lastly, is to pay to these Colleges certain results fees for all those students who pass the various examina- tions, and other higher results fees for those who pass with honours. Thus it is hoped that, without endowing directly any religious teaching, the Catholic University College, and perhaps a Wesleyan and Presbyterian College here and there, may earn sufficient help from the new University to be enabled to pro- vide for its students a high-class University culture. If the Roman Catholics accept this measure, they will show themselves to be in a very moderate mood. It may secure them great advantages, but they will be advantages far short of that perfect equality with Irishmen who can avail themselves conscientiously of Trinity College, Dublin, for which they have hitherto fought so tenaciously.