I sent this letter to Eamon Ryan before the election
Dear Mr. Ryan,
As a 33yr old in South Dublin I gave you my first preference vote
in the last general election and will do so again on the 24th of May.
As an Atheist who is planning on having children in the next few years
I am concerned about the lack of schooling available to children
outside the Catholic/ National school system. Is the provision of
non-denominational national schools an issue within the Green Party?
I would assume, given the educated profile of the party's support,
you would have many atheists among your members and voters.
And received this reply:
Many thanks for your email.
I agree with you on the need for changes in our education system to reflect the greater diversity in religious, and cultural backrounds in Ireland today. The departure of many religious orders from the education system should allow for a review of how the state supports and manages many of our primary and secondary schools. Unfortunately, the Department of Education seems to have very little vision in how such a change might happen. Rather than continuing with the status quo and ignoring the real changes which have occurred in Ireland over the last twenty years. I believe we should be looking at innovative new school management systems
'Educate Together' is already working to provide multi- denominational primary schools in Ireland. They currently have 19 schools in Dublin, one of which is in Rathfarnham. They are expanding every year and are working hard to get the Department of Education and Science to commit to provide the new schools that are needed across the country.
The Green Party recognises that new schools will require new resources. We have committed to investing €1 billion in addtional current and capital funding for education for the first year of the next Governments term of office, to front load educational prorities, and then draw up a ten year funding plan. We would also increas investment in the school building and refurbishment programme by €269m. Through this we would endeaver to support organisations such as Educate Together in their efforts to increase the number of multi-denominational schools in Ireland.
I have pasted below an extract from the Green Partys 50 Steps to Better Education document which outlines these plans. You can read the full policy on http://www.50steps.com
If I can be of any further assistance to you on this or any other issue please do not hesitate to contact me.
Eamon Ryan TD
I'm going to ask him as a member of the current government how he's getting on with his 50 steps and what Mother Superior Hanafin thinks of them
Ps...yes ..I voted green and yes it's my fault that Fianna Fail are still in government...sorry