Google Books have made available the reports of the Coast and Island Society for the period 1854-1861
The Society was a Protestant Evangelical organisation dedicated to outlining the ‘errors’ of ‘Romanism’ and seeking converts through missionary work and the education of the young.
It operated a mission station of Cape Clear the remains of which are still present. This was headed by the Rev. Daniel Spring also the Professor of Irish at Trinity College Dublin. There is reference to a publication by him of a journey in the South in 1840. His brother the Rev. Edward Spring also ministered there.
In Crookhaven then a point of calling for transatlantic sea traffic a mission station was based. Among the nationalities administered to were English, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian, Mexican, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Greek.
The Society also ran schools, in the period of the reports the numbers were under pressure from the famine, emigration, and the opening of national schools. There are also references to parents needing the labour of the children to work on the farms.
Beara: Rossmacowan under 30 pupils, Bere Island, Cappaneel.
Muintervara (Durrus): Doonure (Doonore) numbers falling off, Roosky (Rooska), in Gierhies (Gearhies) one school 15, another 33 and the third 20 pupils.
Dunmanus Bay: An Irish Speaking district the teacher to be trained in the language.
Islands: Cape Clear 23 pupils teacher Mr. Kerr , Hare Island, Sherkin
Kilcoe 86 pupils teachers husband and wife..