Dail Question by Clare Daly, Socialist Party

Clare Daly, Socialist Party TD for Dublin North asked the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn about the classification of schools. Apparently in Ireland there is a distinction between the classifications of schools by the Department on the basis of the ethos of the schools as against that of the governance structures of the schools. This means that a school could have a religious ethos but the Government can tell the UN that it is non-denominational. An example of this is Designated Community Colleges at second level. These schools are under the full patronage of the VEC but operate a religious ethos.

One of the Recommendations of the Irish Human Rights Commission in their report last year is that the state should define legally the terms non-denominational, denominational, multi-denominational and interdenominational.

Uimhir:199
Ceist Pharlaiminte
Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha
To the Minister for Education and Science

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason Ireland mislead the UN
Human Rights Committee by rejecting the request to eliminate religious
education on the grounds that there are a growing number of non-denominational
schools, when in fact there are no non-denominational schools registered with
the Department..
– Clare Daly.

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 27th March, 2012.
Reference Number: 16523/12

Freagra
Minister Ruairí Quinn

I wish to assure the Deputy that Ireland did not mislead the UN Human Rights
Committee in any way in relation to this matter.

The UNHRC request in question related to the elimination of religious
discrimination in access to education. Ireland did not accept this. There is a
growing non-denominational school sector in Ireland, particularly at primary
level. These schools cater for all pupils and there is no denominational
involvement in their governance. The existing system of school admissions is
currently under review, and issues of access are being considered as part of
that review process. Religious groups are free to establish their own schools
to cater for members of their particular faith. This religious freedom is a
core element in our system at primary and secondary level.

I would like to clarify for the Deputy that there is a distinction between the
classification of schools by the Department on the basis of the ethos of the
schools as against that of the governance structures of the schools.

6 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Jon Pierson April 04, 2012

    A political answer, that is to say a non-answer (as opposed to a multi-answer), to a very clear and simple question.

    One thing that is conspicuous by its absence is any mention of a clearly defined list of “non-denominational” schools in Ireland. It must be assumed that this is only because there aren’t any, as stated in the question.

    There is, quite clearly, no growth in non-denominational schools because there are no non-denominational schools.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    owen April 09, 2012

    Assholes – they collect tax in a non-denominational way, but feel the right to spend it in a denominational way. I would like the ability to refuse paying any part of my tax which is used to promote religion. Religion is a personal matter, which should be financed by the interested persons only.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Michael January 02, 2015

      It would be grand if everybody could see things through your rose coloured glasses. The majority of schools were set up by religious congregations of nuns and brothers. Without their work, we would still be a third world country. Do you think that past governments were going to spend money on setting up schools. Thats only a recent thing when our religious-educated scholars went onto running our councils and state.
      You also seem to ignore the fact that quite an amount of fund-raising for schhol facilities is done through collections at masses and services. I dont hear or see any non attenders or non- believers suggesting that they refuse this aid from the clergy collections. In recent years, when new classrooms were being built in one of my local rural schools, and when money was needed

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Michael January 02, 2015

      It would be grand if everybody could see things through your rose colored glasses. The majority of schools were set up by religious congregations of nuns and brothers. Without their work, we would still be a third world country. Do you think that past governments were going to spend money on setting up schools. Thats only a recent thing when our religious-educated scholars went onto running our councils and state.
      You also seem to ignore the fact that quite an amount of fund-raising for schhol facilities is done through collections at masses and services. I dont hear or see any non attenders or non- believers suggesting that they refuse this aid from the clergy collections. In recent years, when new classrooms were being built in one of my local rural schools, and when money was needed

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Michael January 02, 2015

        Ctd. who supplied the money required? It wasnt the non-beleivers. It came out of the Parish funds.
        Where do schools turn to when they need resources, equipment, funds? Its not our Labour ministers. No. You lot will never know. Its at church services that you will hear about school needs.
        Get real. Dont knock what is keeping the system going unless you have a better way.

        Reply
  3. Avatar
    Michael January 02, 2015

    UN and human rights?
    Dont make me cringe. Its not something to laugh at.
    It would be more in their line to restore the emegency aid to the Iraqis, Syrians and Nigerian refugees. This they took from them in the middle of winter. Savage cuts dont you agree?

    Reply

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