Corporal punishment was banned in Irish schools in 1982 and by 1996 its use had become a criminal offence. Things were quite different in 1974 when corporal punishment was common place in schools throughout Ireland.
On 26 August 1974, RTÉ News spoke to Tony Kinsella, from the Irish Union of School Students, who talks about the use of corporal punishment in post-primary schools.
Kinsella reports that 84% of second level schools use corporal punishment as a form of discipline. The most common method of corporal punishment used is the leather strap. Other methods include the cane, ruler, furniture legs, and tree branches.
According to Kinsella, there is a latent hostility amongst the community to corporal punishment which needs to be addressed.
As an alternative to corporal punishment, Kinsella suggests student involvement in their own discipline through some sort of democratic structure in schools. In the long term, he sees the withdrawal of student privileges as an effective form of discipline.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 August 1974.