Open The Gates


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A short film from Equate Ireland ahead of the general election, as part of the group’s Open The School Gates campaign.


With a general election expected next month, a movement is underway in the rapidly changing nation to target another hurtful social condition by which non-Catholic children are legally denied seats at overcrowded state-financed primary schools, 97 percent of which are controlled by Catholic authorities.”

“With schools allowed to give preference to Catholics, other families are forced to have their children baptized in the church, linger on school waiting lists or search for scarce alternatives. Only 74 of the nation’s 3,200 primary schools are run by Educate Together, the main multidenominational alternative, whose Dublin schools are swamped with four applications for every available space.”

“…Church officials are at odds, with some urging a slow evolution toward a more open-door policy in the schools. Clearly the current policy is at odds with a modern Ireland. The most encouraging force in the debate is the Irish public’s realization that their nation can no longer afford shameful religious bias to remain in the law.”

Intolerable Bias in Ireland’s Schools (New York Times editorial, January 29, 2016)

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11 thoughts on “Open The Gates

  1. ollie

    Schools have to employ admission criteria due to a lack of places, this is the case in 20% of schools (I agree that religion shouldn’t be used)

    As for equate Ireland, having Ruari Quinn as an advisor undermines any credibility they might have.

  2. Frenchfarmer

    Kind off weird in this day and age!
    Over here in France, back in the sixties, there was a vote which declared all religious buildings to be the property of the people as it was their money that built them. Can’t imagine that going down too well with the Irish church.
    Sound of Bishops choking on their nice claret.

  3. postmanpat

    Can you just say your kid is baptized? Tell the school he/she wont be making communion a month before the communion. by that stage the kids been in school for 3 or 4 years at they cant kick them out then , can they? (Serious question)

    1. ahyeah

      I tried that – didn’t quite say she was baptised, just avoided answering the question. Letter after letter demanding a copy of baptism cert – local parish priest got involved. The Catholic Church is a tight, efficient machine when it needs to be.

    2. Jaden

      You generally need to provide a Baptism Certificate, so there’s that.

      I also wouldn’t be a fan of the approach of “Can we just pretend this isn’t an issue?”

  4. formerly known as

    if the Seanad was elected by the people, it would be a good issue for a new party to stand on. It might scare the big parties into action.

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