‘Very Alarming’


RTÉ’s Emma O’Kelly tweetz:

Here’s what St Sylvester’s School [principal] sent to parents.

St Sylvester’s School is the third school in north county Dublin that has sent letters to parents about what they say will happen if parents vote to change from Catholic to multi-denominational patronage.

Earlier: Hello Diversity, Goodby Grandparents

Third Dublin school sends letter warning of consequences over changing patronage (RTE)

Row over school patronage after claims religious holidays will not be marked (RTE, April 2, 2019)

43 thoughts on “‘Very Alarming’

  1. eoin

    “No more grandparent assemblies” ?! The basturbs.

    Love the way the schools compare the teaching of religion with the teaching of history. If the students learning about WW2 were taught how to be Nazis, that comparison might hold up.

  2. newsjustin

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for DoE to positively ask all Catholic primary schools in the area to consider if their school community would, with support, planning, and on a phased basis, like to change their ethos (with the permission of their patron and a welcome from a new patron) to a non-denominational one?

    Instead of waving divestment as this big unknown. Shock, horror, parents and staff don’t want to vote for a change in their school if they don’t know what’s coming.

    This has been the cack-handed approach of successive governments. Giving so little information and detail on a change of patronage that its seen as a threat. While at the same time attempting to water down Catholic ethos in schools that won’t be divested. Scaring the horses and then expecting them to welcome your pig-in-a-poke divestment ideas with open arms.

    1. Joe Small

      No one calls it DoE, its DES.
      DES has surprisingly little power over schools and their teachers.

  3. Shona Nolan

    In fairness protestants, atheists, (and probably muslims) do eat their parents as soon as the progeny are old enough to survive independently. And this does make grandparents’ assemblies tricky

  4. Cian

    Can anyone explain to me what exactly a “Catholic ethos” is? And how it differs from a “Church of Ireland ethos” or a “Presbyterian ethos” or a “Multi-denominational ethos” or even a “non-denominational ethos”. With examples.


      1. johnny

        -less of this from Leo’s partner at the parade would be great, doesn’t really play well in the USA in 2019,makes you guys look like bunch thick racist paddies, and Leo a big dope.
        -is it the education system ?

        “Conor McGregor has been accused of using a racial slur in his latest attack on Khabib Nurmagomedov as he compared his rival’s wife to a “towel.”

        McGregor, 30, tweeted a picture of Nurmagomedov on his wedding day in which the fighter’s partner has a veil covering her face, a tradition in Muslim culture.

        The tweet was captioned, “Your wife is a towel mate.”


        1. ReproBertie

          So the retirement was a “Look at me! Look at me!” thing and he’s started the insults to try and hype the rematch already.

          Well that’s just super.

          1. johnny

            -no idea-i deliberately to annoy my neighbors who i catch reading it take Murdochs rag The Post in the mornings-I’m only one in the building and in Hamptons who does yet i always catch someone reading it……
            -went one his fights in the garden wasn’t for me-but maybe Leo will know as they marched together recently….
            big dive by NYT came out this morning into Murdoch and his rags.


        2. rotide

          “doesn’t really play well in the USA in 2019,makes you guys look like bunch thick racist paddies”

          You guys? So you’re not actually an expat?

    1. Gabby

      @Cian: Catholics, reformed Christians and Jews learn about their traditions in a non-hostile curriculum environment. Existing Catholic schools in certain town and suburban locations have multi-ethnic enrolments and teachers try to welcome all pupils; but extra classrooms are needed to facilitate pupils whose parents and guardians wish their children to receive different religious or philosophical lessons during Catholic RE lesson times. In Catholic missionary schools in parts of Africa, pupils of all denominations attend RE lessons that follow an Agreed Syllabus. Separate afternoon classes are also held for Catholic pupils preparing for baptism, communion and confirmation ceremonies. I sometimes wonder why the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland never takes a leaf from the experience of Irish missionaries in the third world.

      1. Cian

        Gabby: I’d agree that that the core curriculum should be non-denominational and that any specific doctrine is done out of core school hours.

        My question of what “ethos” means in a school context is still open. Personally I suspect the real meaning is “sectarian indoctrination”.

        1. Gabby

          @Cian: Catholic ‘ethos’ is often taken to mean kitschy statues and holy pictures that could be replaced by renaissance reproductions of artistic merit. In Ireland, the media don’t tend to call C of I ‘sectarian’, and it is not a sect but a denomination belonging to the international Anglican communion. It’s interesting that there were ever only a few Jewish primary schools and one secondary school, which again were never called sectarian. Today there are more Muslims in Ireland than there were ever Jews, so it is likely that in the near future there will be more Muslim schools than the number of Jewish schools during the peak years of the 1960s and 70s. The public media discussion about denominational schools is mainly about Catholic schools and the disputants tend largely to be ex-Catholics. Protestant and Jewish educationists have preferred to exclude themselves from public disputations.

          1. Cian

            @Gabby: If ‘ethos’ relates to kitschy statues then why is it so important?

            When I mentioned “sectarian indoctrination” I’d include Roman Catholics as a ‘sect’, versus the various protestant denominations.

            As for the non-RC educationists who have preferred to exclude themselves from public disputations – they know they are getting a truly great deal from the State, they know that it is the RC that gets all the flack, and they are just keeping their head(s) down.

  5. Junkface

    This misinformation campaign on behalf of catholic nut jobs is almost Russian in style and tactics to divide society.

  6. missred

    This is the biggest load of scare mongering rubbish. I went to a non religious school that honored people’s holidays including Christmas. We did all the stories of the Irish saints. I have no sympathy for those forced to pay for their kids sacraments. You want your kid doing it, cough up for it. And I’m having none of it that you need a religion to foster dignity, leadership and civic engagement.
    Can we send whoever it is who wrote this back to the classroom? Reading it is like one of those very paranoid Facebook posts about invisible lizard people coming to get you

  7. Orla

    I think that if a parent has chosen to send their child to a school with a particular ethos , then they should have an expectation that the ethos won’t change. If they do divest, it should take effect once the current pupils have moved on. Imagine if a parent who had chosen to send their child to a non denomination school was being told that it would change to a religious ethos school, there would be uproar.

    1. newsjustin

      That’s why I suggest “phased” in my comment above. Then everyone knows where they stand and in 6 or 7 years we could have loads of non-denominational schools. The problem isn’t really with the bishops. Most of them would be delighted to divest some schools and let catholic parents support catholic schools. The problem seems to be parents and staff who don’t seem to have been factored into all this.

    2. Rep

      “I think that if a parent has chosen to send their child to a school with a particular ethos”

      Something like 98% of the school places in the area have those ethos. Its not a matter of the parent choosing the ethos as there being virtually no choice.

  8. johnny

    oh FFS the horror pass me the rosary beads luv-imagine changing the language kids learn in and then going co-ed and then having a waiting list…..mother of god,save us all……where is the uproar ?

    ” Responding the the needs of the community we serve, we embarked on yet another transformational journey as we opened our Sruth Lán-Ghaeilge on September 1st 2017. This exciting development has allowed us to embrace our Irish language and culture and, for the first time ever in its history, Synge St Primary School has opened its doors to Junior Infants Girls and Boys.”


  9. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    Reminds me: I must try that fancy-ass place Eathos on Baggot St. Anyone been there?

    1. missred

      It’s quite minimal and not very many seats, but it’s passable for lunch food. Their baking counter is very tasty though

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Thanks, Missred. The cakes look fab — saw the breakfast menu the other day and thought it was fairly pricey.

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          Sorry for eavesdropping but I get excited when a new restaurant opens. However, I won’t be handing over my hard earned €15.75 to these guys for eggs on toast!

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        It’s new to Baggot Street. I don’t like to schlep much further than around that neck of the woods for lunch.

  10. Dub Spot

    WHat’s are grandparent assemblies? Some kind of hackathon? Sure just follow the instructions and assemble your own…

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