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It would not cause too much debate to suggest that Ireland in the late 1950s was a depressing country. It had suffered greatly from decades of poor economic performance and the constant haemorrhaging of its population through emigration. Overcrowded classrooms and poor physical school structures meant that only 10,000 students took their Leaving Certificate in 1957 (Ferriter, 2004). Meanwhile, third-level education remained the preserve of the elite and a total of just 8,653 students were present in all of Ireland’s third-level institutions by the end of the 1950s (Ferriter, 2004).
Cooney, T. (2008) Celtic Tiger Found in Education Jungle. Education and Training (Research Note), Vol.50, no.1, pp.64-66.