In a recent parliamentary questions session in Ireland, Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar provided a surprisingly frank and sensible response to questions from members of parliament (TDs) who are demanding that the government force the divestment (or reconfiguration) of schools that have been established and run by Catholic entities for decades and, in some cases, centuries.
Richard Boyd Barrett, leader of a radical left party People Before Profit, a very minor party in the parliament, on March 22 questioned Varadkar about the lack of progress in divesting school patronage from Catholic bodies who run almost 90 per cent of primary schools.
Because consultation with communities and parents has not realised the expectations of anti-religious groups in Ireland, with communities resistant to changing schools that have delivered and performed for their children for decades, Boyd Barrett unwittingly answered his own question:
“The latest evidence that the divestment programme is not going very well was seen in Raheny, where there were discussions for the reconfiguration of three Catholic schools, and it has run into serious trouble. It is not the first example of this, which points to the fact that the whole process of consultation is not working. While I can only read the reports, it is not the first time I have heard of this sort of thing. We do not have anybody who is really selling the benefits of divestment.”
READ ON BELOW>>>Irish PM must be commended for saying forced secularisation of Catholic schools is wrong – Catholic Herald
Irish PM must be commended for saying forced secularisation of Catholic schools is wrong – Catholic Herald