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We need to deal with the issue of Catholic School Patronage - Senator Paul Gavan

7 October, 2016 - by Paul Gavan

Yesterday evening, Sinn Fein Senator Paul Gavan addressed the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, and questioned the Government’s commitment to dealing with the concerning matter of Catholic School Patronage. 

Gavan highlighted the issues of inequality which surrounded the matter and called out the government's lack of impetus to urgently rectify blatant injustices in the system.

Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Gavan said;

“The issue of patronage within Irish schools is an area of grave inequality, and I’d like to have the Minister address this matter.

“At the moment 89% of schools in Ireland are under the direct patronage of the Catholic Church and that’s not good enough for a state that aspires to be a republic.

“Where is the political will to address this situation? We must urgently deal with the matter.

“Sinn Fein wants to see a departmental roadmap to achieve the goal of 400 multi-denominational schools by 2030. 

“This includes the department of Education introducing issue guidelines for all schools to follow so that children can opt-out of faith formation if that is their wish.

“We would also like to see an end to the baptism barrier in school admissions – something which is a concerning matter throughout this state.

“We’ve read the government National Education Action Plan, and I do not see the government’s political will to reform our education system. 

“Where is the will to bring our education system in line with the principles of a republic - where the state treats all children equally?”

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