Baptism Barrier must be Abolished – Gavan
Sinn Féin Seanad spokesperson on Education Senator Paul Gavan has reiterated the Sinn Féin position that the baptism barrier must be abolished.
Senator Gavan was speaking following confirmation that the Oireachtas committee on Education and Skills will recommend that laws allowing discrimination regarding baptism be amended, so that no child is denied entry to a state-funded school because of their religious belief or non-belief.
Senator Gavan said:
“The law in this country needs to be amended immediately to ensure that no school can any longer discriminate in their admissions policy on the basis of a child’s religion or non-religion. I welcome and support the recommendation made by the Oireachtas committee on Education and Skills that the baptism barrier must go.
“Presently, 96% of Irish national schools can discriminate against children based on their religion; that is not acceptable. In a modern, pluralist society, we should not have parents feel pressured into having their child baptised simply to gain access to a publicly-funded school.
“What we need is a secular state, a true separation of church and state, and ensure that unbaptised children are not treated as second class citizens.”