THREE DAYS OF public hearings are beginning in Dublin today aimed at teasing out the opinions of fourteen main stakeholders on the issue of school patronage.
Education minister Ruairi Quinn established the Forum on Pluralism and Patronage earlier this year, stating that roughly half of the country’s 3,000 Catholic primary schools will be transferred to be overseen by other patrons.
Catholic bishops are among the stakeholders engaging in discussions with the forum in Dublin this week. They’ll be asked whether or not they’ll agree to hand over the patronage of some of their schools. Other stakeholders include the Islamic Council of Ireland, the Board of Education of the Church of Ireland and Educate Together, all of whom have made submissions to the forum.
The Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has welcomed the forum’s work, but has warned that it will encounter resistance. He also wants those schools which remain Catholic to be truly Catholic institutions.
What do you think? Should denominational schools exist in Ireland or should faith be left out of education all together. Do you want education in Ireland to be non-denominational?