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Schools and the church

Another Dublin primary school is to be divested from Catholic Church

The Government is aiming for 400 schools in Ireland to be multi-denominational by 2030.

A PRIMARY SCHOOL on Dublin’s Dorset Street is set to be divested from the Catholic Church as of next week, Archbishop Dermott Farrell has said. 

St Mary’s primary school will be divested to Education Minister Norma Foley from next Monday. 

A pilot consultation process on the patronage of primary schools has been ongoing in the Diocese since 2022. 29 schools have taken part in the scheme. Overall, fewer than 20 primary schools have been divested to date nationally, of the 88% that were under Catholic patronage.

The Archbishop wished the principal and teaching staff of the school all the best as they begin a new chapter in the life of the school and their service to its community. 

Charity Educate Together will be the new patron body for the school. 

He also acknowledged the service of the Christian Brothers and the Religious Sisters of Charity to the “education of so many generations of pupils in the original primary schools in St Joseph’s Parish” before they were amalgamated.  

The Archbishop thanked the independent facilitator,  the parents, the local priest, and all who took part in the consultation process. 

Some multi-denominational organisations last year raised concerns with Minister Foley about whether parents’ voices would be heard under the pilot scheme.

Aodhán Ó Riordán, a Labour Party TD and former national school principal, has previously said that he believed the design of the scheme meant it was inherently biased in favour of the status quo. 

Only roughly 5% of primary schools in Ireland are multi-denominational. The Government has pledged to achieve a target for at least 400 multi-denominational primary schools by 2030, more than double the number today.

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