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Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:30 am
by CaptainBrooksie
Hi All. I thought I'd try and get the ball rolling after the massive data loss.

I'm from England and my fiancée is Irish (Humanist wedding next year!) we have a 5 week old son who will not be baptised. We've applied to a number of educate together schools so hopefully he should get in one of them.

Assuming he goes to an ET school, I still have a number of concerns around Religious Education. Does ET genuinely teach Religion in an even handed fashion or do Catholic biases creep in? When communions/confirmations roll around how much are the after school sessions advertised? Do the non-Catholic kids get the impression it's a fun after school club they're missing out on? Do the Catholic kids Lord the party and presents over them? How does the school handle/manage it all?

I'm also worried about Secondary school as a Catholic school may be unavoidable. What sort of impact does opting out of RE have? Does it leave them short a Junior cert qualification that harms their leaving cert or college application? Not having gone through it the Irish Education system confuses me and my partner went to convent school religion wasn't remotely optional!

I don't know anyone who has these problems. All our friends do the Church wedding baptism bits because "That's what you do" or "My nan would be devastated!"


Re: Intro

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:12 pm
by mkaobrih
Hi CaptainBrooksie,
Welcome to the forum. My kids go to an et school, two of which have passed through the dreaded communion year. While there is no religious instruction in class there is sill a good bit of religious information (at least at my kids school). The year starts off with the festival of lights and in October paganism in mentioned. There is a fair bit of christianity round Easter. Regarding communion year, there is some religious practices during school time. The communion kids go to the church to practice when its convenient for the local priest, which is inevitably during school hours. if your child is not doing communion they will go in to another class when this is going on. Remember all the teachers in irish schools were taught to teach in religious colleges so they might not see things as problematic unless you point it out to them. My kids were not baptized and didn't do the communion thing which was not a big deal at all with the other kids (even though there was only a few in the class that were not doing communion). The teachers are generally supportive.
Regarding secondary schools, you have the constitutional right to opt your child out of any religious course or instruction but in practice the power lies with the schools and they can make this very difficult. The problem with the patronage model that we have in Ireland is that it is very haphazard. You might get a very sympathetic and helpful teacher/principal or you might get a holy roller. You can find more information about Irish schools and religion on If people such as yourself do not take a stand and refuse to go down the baptism route then we will just be in the same situation in another 20 years. I think your nan will cope :-).

Re: Intro

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:00 am
by CaptainBrooksie
Cheers Mkaobrih. I'll be stealing Holy Roller!

I don't mind celebrating Easter etc as long as it's more Easter Bunny than nailing young men to crosses. I've known a few teachers in Ireland so I've seen how much of a Catholoc slant they can have. I lived with two young teachers when I first moved here and they could not get their heads around me not being Protestant never mind being an Atheist! I'll make sure I make my feelings know ( Although we're a few years off yet).

I'm definitely making a stand. I've never felt discrimated against before and I don't care for it. It's lunacy that any government, let alone a Western European Democratic Republic can get away with this sort of Religious and Racial descrimination, if people don't make their feelings known nothing will change. On that topic, I'll be voting for the first time in the next general election, do any parties support a secular education system.

Thanks for the concern for my nan :D she has absolutely no belief in God, none of my family do. It's my other halfs lot me have to worry about!