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Forgotten Catholics

HUGH Dougherty's review (TESS, August 11) of John McCabe's book, A History of St. Aloysius' College, announces its existence. However his article does the book no favours by describing it as the history of Catholic secondary education in Glasgow. I confess to being a former pupil of St Mungo's Academy but this is a sweeping generalisation which ignores the contributions of my alma mater as well as Lourdes, Holyrood and more recently St Andrew's schools.

Does Hugh really think that a boys only school reflects the experiences of Catholic girls' education in Glasgow? Did Notre Dame, Our Lady and St Francis and Garnethill schools make no unique contribution to the history of Catholic education in Glasgow?

I look forward to reading the book once I borrow it from a St Aloysius' FP and find out why this school had to charge so-called nominal fees hen other similar institutions did not. Perhaps they were no real barrier to the many publicans, bookmakers and other Glasgow businessmen who sent their heirs to Rose Street. Perhaps the book will reveal if Fr John Tracey ever acknowledged that his prediction of comprehensive schooling affecting attainment was wrong.

Hugh Dougherty finds no wrong at St Aloysius' College, only eccentricities. Is this a reflection of the book or his prejudices? I hope to discover the other side of the selective schooling process whereby St Aloysius' (and my own school) benefited at the expense of St Mark's, Shettleston, and St Mary's, Calton, in terms of equipment, resources and accommodation. Of course these were schools that did educate the east end Catholic working class the Jesuits had left behind.

Frank Murphy

Talbot Terrace


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