We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Ruairí Quinn pictured at a school in Dublin earlier this year Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Quinn: I've been caricatured as enemy of the Catholic Church

The education minister said the debate around school patronage had become distorted.

EDUCATION MINISTER RUAIRÍ Quinn has said he believes he has been caricatured as an enemy of the Catholic Church.

Quinn said the debate around changes to school patronage, which he has been pushing for since coming into Cabinet last spring, had become distorted.

But he said it was essential that changes were made to the system, and rejected suggestions that the patron of a school was a largely symbolic role.

“The power the patron has is very extensive, in terms of appointing the principal of the school,” he said. “Appointment of staff is also a function of the patron.”

Quinn told Claire Byrne on RTÉ’s Marian Finucane show that new changes would reduce the power of the role. “We’re amending the act to ensure that function can’t be used in a discriminatory way,” he said.

The minister said he was “not the enemy of any church”, but added: “I think I’ve been caricatured in that position.”

Under a revised system of school patronage, he said, he envisaged Catholic schools able to be “openly celebratory about their own religion” – but in an environment in which parents would have a free choice between denominational and non-denominational schools.

More: Quinn insists religious orders must meet remaining €470 million abuse bill>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.