News from Europe

Catholic symbols to be removed from Irish State schools

Catholic symbols are to phased out of Irish State schools in order to "cater for children of all religions". The new rules will apply to more than two hundred secondary schools run by the State's Education and Training Boards (ETBs) which are officially categorised as multi-denominational.


State curriculum dictates that schools do not offer religious instruction or faith formation for a particular religion during the school day, but instead offer religious education in which students learn about a range of different religions and beliefs.

There are worries that Catholic schools are offering Catholic-only religious education and that children of other religions are being excluded.

A “framework” is to be put in place in order to outline steps schools should follow to bring them into line with a multi-denominational ethos, and to recognise the religious identities of all students in ETB schools. This framework states that any religious symbols on display in the school must “reflect the religious beliefs of the wider school community, rather than one particular belief system.”


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