Ireland: is Catholic Education Finished?

Ireland: is Catholic Education Finished?

schoolgirlCatholic and Protestant teachers will train alongside each other in a new institute announced by the Irish Government last week.

The Institute of Education will replace the Catholic St Patrick’s College and Mater Dei Institute as well as the Church of Ireland College of Education and operate under Dublin City University.

The move was announced by the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn last week in a document “A New Vision of Education for all the Children of Ireland.”

Speaking at the launch the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin said the new institute reflected something of how the future of education in Ireland is progressing and how people wish it to progress in a pluralist society.

“Pluralism should not produce negative rivalry or antagonism or give rise to elitism or social division, or a culture which seeks to maintain positions based on narrow ideologies,” he said.

The multidenominational institute will train teachers for the Catholic Church, Church of Ireland and other Christian traditions and will provide ongoing development for teachers and educators.

The move has not been welcomed by everyone, with Dr Ciarán Ó Coigligh, at St Patrick’s, describing it as “a takeover” and giving into those who “promote a secularist agenda.”

He said: “It is stated that the core curriculum will be ‘denominationally neutral’. This is a blatant contradiction of the essence of Christian education which requires that the denominational ethos permeates the whole teaching and learning experience.”   Source


Clearly, Catholic education is set to become a thing of the past in Ireland, with no plans to train Catholic teachers to pass on the Catholic religion. A “denominationally neutral” curriculum just doesn’t cut it. But is this really any different from what has been going on in so called Catholic education in the UK for years now? Is the question “is Catholic education finished in Ireland” OR – perhaps more  accurately – “is Catholic education finished?” End of.  Tell  us your thoughts.

Comments (67)

  • mikidiki Reply


    With respect, I cannot see how a specific account of Crofterlady’s experiences, and my subsequent comments, could lead anyone (notwithstanding those with axes to grind) to generalise about demonising every Irish family. The McAleese Report estimated that only10,012 girls and women, rather than the widespread exaggeration of 30,000, were processed through the laundries. Consequently, it is obvious that there were indeed some Irish families who abandoned their offspring, whilst conversely, there may have been other families who did shelter, protect and care for their own unmarried daughters who became mothers.
    So, why the warning to beware of “demonising”? And to whom is the warning directed? Surely you cannot actually believe that any contributor to this Catholic Truth blog would be so foolish, so insensitive and so malign as to think in such a perverse way, either about the families or the priests?
    But perhaps you do.

    July 11, 2014 at 9:35 pm
    • Fidelis Reply


      I didn’t mean to cause offence. It’s just that not everyone reading this blog is necessarily a friend of it or of the Catholic Church. I only wanted to make the point that you have made actually much better than I did that not every Irish family would turf their pregnant daughters out into the street or put them in the Laundries.

      Sorry for having upset you. That wasn’t my intention, honestly.

      July 11, 2014 at 9:53 pm
      • mikidiki


        As a comparative newcomer to this blog I have no problem bowing to your greater knowledge and assertion that we have amongst our readers and contributors people who harbour enmity towards the Faith. I cannot say that I, myself, have noticed such persons, but if they do exist (and you affirm that they do) then certainly your warnings about “demonisation” needed to be voiced and are valid. The universal condemnation of priests, brothers and sisters is grossly misplaced, and we can all remember many holy, dedicated and inspirational pastors and nuns who brought Christ into our lives, whereas few of us will have had personal contact with a clerical abuser.

        July 11, 2014 at 11:01 pm
      • editor


        There are, indeed, enemies as well as friends who read this blog, although they do not always contribute comments. So, we take nothing for granted.

        Maybe you’ve missed, for example, our semi-regular trolls who comment and disrupt our discussions (won’t name them in case they take that as an invitation to return) and there is no doubt that media folk keep an eye on us, so it’s wise to always note that by acknowledging wrongs and immorality, in this case in Ireland and among families, this behaviour in no way applies to all or even a majority.

        I would add that the common claim that “most abuse takes place in families” – and not just Irish families – is a tad misleading because, although, shockingly, there have been cases of natural parents abusing and even murdering their offspring, more often than not, when we read the small print, the abuser/murderer is a step-parent, a boyfriend of the mother.

        And we should never forget the very important point which you make, that the universal condemnation of priests (and families) is to be avoided.

        July 12, 2014 at 12:47 pm
  • Petrus Reply

    Well said to all those who defended the nuns of the Magdelene Laundries. The wicked lies being peddled about them is really quite shocking. Thank God for people like Crofterlady who is willing to speak up.

    July 11, 2014 at 10:04 pm
    • Margaret Mary Reply

      I second Petrus’s comment, because it is shocking to find people, including Catholics, who still believe the lies told about those good nuns. That girl who started the ball rolling, has something to answer for, God help her.

      July 15, 2014 at 8:36 pm
  • A Roaming Catholic Reply

    Almost as if the Arian Heresy in modern times. For in the Arian Heresy, where Priests and Bishops went along with Arius who preached the Heresy that Jesus was only a Perfect Man and not God, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Saint John Chrysostom remarked and it still applies today “The Road to Hell is Paved with The Skulls of Bishops”, which was True then and True, Currently.

    September 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm
    • editor Reply

      A Roaming Catholic,

      Very true currently. Very VERY true!

      September 19, 2014 at 9:33 pm

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