- Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education in Ireland

Religious Discrimination

re... : Religious Discrimination           reply
16/07/2013 14:25 - Announcements
I suppose the problem is that 92% of primary schools are controlled by the Catholic Church and this neither reflects the host nor the immigrant population’s beliefs. In the UK there is a much wider spread of choice.
I can see why you would be afraid that focusing on immigrants might cause the wrong reactions Deborah but the alternative of ignoring their existence so as not to rock the boat isn’t going to help them either.

re : Religious Discrimination           reply
16/07/2013 13:14 - Announcements
In the UK, religious schools are allowed to give preference to children of the same religion attending that school. That sounds fine to me particularly if schools are oversubscribed, as many parents in previous generations paid voluntarily or did fundraising to build such schools so that the ethos of that religion and core values of that religion were guiding the ethos in administration and teaching at that school. Educate together schools get funding from the government to offer non denominational education in Ireland. Historically the Catholic church in this country funded and built the majority of the schools without which the majority of the Irish population would not have received the education they did as the country was poor economically in past generations. If I was an immigrant to a Muslim country, I would expect to attend a state school that was Muslim in its ethos and educational focus. You cannot expect to settle in another country and dictate your cultural educational preferences if you want to integrate, unless you wish to fund your own school.

re... : Religious Discrimination           reply
14/11/2014 15:49 - Announcements
Discrimination on the basis of religion is indeed not just "legal" in Irish primary and secondary schools, its is endemic in the system:
- primary & secondary schools are allowed to favour children on religious grounds in their admissions policies, thus a non-religious or child of a religion different to the "ethos" of the school who had been on the waiting list for a long time in a good position can be bumped at the last minute by a child with the "right" religion
- the religion of the primary rule is integrated into every lesson, even English, maths, art etc. because of Rule 68 in the Rules for National Schools. This essentially requires teachers to preach the religion of the school as if it was fact rather than a religious opinion (i.e. creation, miracles, etc.) This can be very problematic for a parent of a different religion as there is no requirement for the school to provide alternative care for a child excluded from a lesson on religious grounds.
- schools are provided exemptions from equal opportunities and employment legislation to allow them to discriminate on religious grounds. is a campaign for a secular education system, treacing all children equally with regards to human rights a religion. It provides resources and advice for parents who are having issues with religion as school including resources on how to opt out of religious classes and instruction.

re... : Religious Discrimination           reply
16/11/2014 15:33 - Announcements
Well, in case you hadn´t noticed - we´re not in Rome. We´re in Ireland, where I was born too by the way. So unless you are older than me then you came to my country. Maybe you would prefer to be in Rome or did you actually mean the Vatican?
I had to go through a "Catholic ethos", even got put forward by my school for priesthood training with the Legionnaires of Christ. There I managed to discover that despite being taught all about just one religion all my school life I did not believe any of it.
I discovered reason and logic and no longer believe in fairy stories - and live in the country I was born in, and my father was born in.
You need to look at the demographics - according to the last census non-religious people outnumber Protestants 3 to 1 - so where are the non-religious schools? Answer - nowhere. And the census has the highest count of religious, most polls show barely half the population believes in any gods and the number of 18-30 year olds going to church is somewhere about 12%.
If schools were measured by results then religious control and teaching scores well below an "F".
If the Catholic church wants control of schools it should pay for them instead of taking state money to cover 99.9% of their costs and then discriminating on a sectarian basis. What is the experience of sectarian discrimination on this island? I think it can´t be dismissed as "a few bad eggs". Time to teach equality in schools that treat all children equal.

re... : Religious Discrimination           reply
25/11/2014 11:59 - Announcements
OK, so you will wait to do the right thing until the majority forces you.
Good thing that women, gay, differently skinned, disabled etc. had human rights and European legislation to help them get equality.
If they were waiting for the majority to force people to treat them equally they might have been waiting a long time.....
And how does the majority come around to such a view? Do they just change their opinion overnight? Or do a few dedicated individuals bring issues to the fore, start the political and social conversation going, get organised into campaigns and then help change the agenda - until one day there is enough interest that politicians get on board.
Oh wait - that sounds exactly what are doing (and what women´s rights, gay rights and civil rights groups have done in the past!

re... : Religious Discrimination           reply
16/07/2013 10:07 - Announcements
In the above quote I was trying to point out that using immigrants to push an agenda cases racism and isolates the very immigrant they are trying to help. If the law needs to be changed WHY don´t they use an Irish person as an example for the change. Using a non national is counter productive and can cause ill will towards their community as a whole.
One fifth of schools are oversubscribed thats very high can you link me or reference where you got that figure as I have been trying to find out that information from the Dept of Education and could really do with the link you used. Thanks - that would be very helpful.
I thought the lottery system was being pushed through by the Quinn Administration to cover this situation, a number of schools being handed over and a number of new schools being built with new patrons?

re... : Religious Discrimination           reply
25/11/2014 00:26 - Announcements
So, I have reread my post and nowhere do I say what you say, you just made that up.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I have no issue with that.
Not so many years ago women in this country were excluded from many jobs, they were paid less than men for doing the same job, and they were forced to resign from their jobs when they got married and this was legal. Some brave people stood up for that, said it was wrong not to treat people equally. Fortunately that law was changed. I am very glad that women are treated equally in the eyes of the law now. That opinion is not shared by everyone and clearly there are still people who´s opinion is that women can be treated less than equal.
It is not illegal to have that opinion. But it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex.
It used to be legal to discriminate in this country on the basis of sexual orientation. It used to be legal to prosecute and jail people for their sexuality. Those days are over. It is now a legal requirement in most areas of law to treat people equally regardless of their sexuality. I think this is a good thing. There are clearly people who have a different opinion and it is legal to hold such an opinion. It is not legal to discriminate against people based on that opinion.
In many parts of the world it was legal to discriminate against people based on their skin colour. This happened because in some people´s opinion this was acceptable. That is not legal in Ireland now and that is a good thing in my opinion.
One day in this country it will be illegal to discriminate on the basis of religion. Someone has to start than ball rolling and keep it rolling. If that makes you uncomfortable then it is my opinion that that is a good thing. I hope a lot more people get uncomfortable about discrimination. Maybe then we might get around to fixing it.

re... : Religious Discrimination           reply
16/07/2013 12:08 - Announcements
I’m not sure why using a non-national to highlight segregation would be ‘counter productive’.
Do you think issues which involve immigrants should only be discussed through using Irish people as examples? Surely this would prevent immigrants from speaking up about the issues that matter to them.
The reference you’re looking for is OECD Reviews of Migrant Education: Ireland. Authors: Miho Taguma, Moonhee Kim, Gregory Wurzburg, and Frances Kelly. Chapter 2: Policy Orientations, page 55.
As for the lottery system it hasn’t been decided yet how this will work, and from what I can tell religion will still play a strong role in enrolment.

re... : Religious Discrimination           reply
16/07/2013 09:26 - Announcements
Actually one fifth of all schools are oversubscribed. For the most part these one fifth of schools use religion to choose their pupils.
This is not just an immigrant issue but affects a lot of irish people too, and with the baby boom we´re having is only going to get worse.
Schools shouldn´t be able to refuse any child on religious grounds - it´s discrimination.
I know there are plenty of Catholic schools that have huge numbers of immigrant children, but the ones that are full are turning children away on religious grounds.
Quinn is making changes to enrolment policies but has not talked about changing this one.

re... : Religious Discrimination           reply
20/11/2014 11:50 - Announcements
But the point is - many of us do not have a choice. Where I live the only two primary schools within 10 miles are catholic schools. The school busses from my location only go to one of them. The only secondary girls school supported by the school transport is a catholic school.
So if I want my child to go to a non-catholic and non-protestant school system, I have to take her out of the local community where her friends are (and all the knock on social impacts of that) I have to forgo the state provided and state operated "catholic bus", I have to drive 50-60 minutes in rush hour to get her there giving me a 4 hour commute (am I supposed to give up work to do that) and she has to have a 2 hour commute on top of her school day.
All because the catholic church wants exclusive sectarian control of local schools with a few token protestant ones. Which is currently resulting in about 15-25% of these children going on to regular church attendance and about 98-99% of them rejecting church teaching on family law, sex and contraception, etc.
The alternative being that all the schools could treat all of the children equally and respect all of their beliefs and how to get along in a mutually non-sectarian local community made up of a range of opinion without sectarian religious enforced ghettos.
As for your last comment it is really hard to not be rude about it - it comes in the "sure my granny smoked 20 cigarettes a day and lived to 92 so everyone should smoke for their health" category of weird logic.
That´s why make so much more sense.

re... : Religious Discrimination           reply
16/07/2013 13:08 - Announcements
I think its counter productive, if you a trying to integrate different cultures,ideologies and religions. Most people when presented with change will cling to what they find comfortable and its easy to blame the immigrants especially when they are being used as the reason for said change. Surely using the example of a decrease in relgious observance would be better than using a Muslim boy who can´t get into a church of Ireland or jewish school?
Thank you very much for the reference I will read it and hopefully educate myself

Religious Discrimination           reply
15/07/2013 13:36 - Announcements (Locality: Dublin South)
In Ireland, it is legal to turn a child away from a school based on his/her religion. It is also legal to hire and fire a teacher based on his/her religion. The Integration Centre is a not-for-profit organisation committed to the integration of people from migrant backgrounds, and aims to change this discriminating legislation. We think it´s important for children to to mix and to have teachers from a variety of different backgrounds. If you agree and want to learn more, or if you want to get involved by signing our petition, please go to our webpage here: Help us end this religions discrimination and segregation.

re : Religious Discrimination           reply
15/07/2013 22:28 - Announcements
what a load of rubbish obviously your refering to to oversubscribed schools mostly on the Southside of Dublin as our local Catholic school has 32 nationalities and many religions and none. And I think you will find this is common in most schools around the country.
I looked at your one example and it is Southside schools your refering too. The reason alot of immigrants are clustered into disadvantaged schools is that most immigrants will gravitate to live in communities together either by privately renting or and will end up being ghettoised by the government into social housing in already disadvantage communities. These petitions rather than encouraging cohesion just reinforces bad feeling between communities. Why don´t you expend more energy getting more resources given to disadvantage areas as a whole including indigenous Irish and get communities working together as opposed to splitting them apart by making the immigrant a special case.

discussion forum terms & conditions