The Irish Primary Schools That Transfer From Catholic to Multi-Denominational This Week

Irish schooling has undergone a series of changes this year, but none so gargantuan as removing a religious-based curriculum and opting for a multi-denominational patronage.

Three small Catholic rural schools that have decided to switch patronage in time for this coming academic year.

Scoil an Ghleanna, a 14-pupil school in the Iveragh Peninsula Gaeltacht, will reopen on Thursday as a State-run Community National School.

According to RTÉ, this is the first time that an existing Catholic school will have made a 'live' transfer to multi-denominational status.

The previously Catholic-run Lecarrow School in County Roscommon and Tahilla National School also in Kerry are both set to follow suit, providing a multi-belief and values programme, as opposed to a Catholic one, for children from now on. 

Preparation for the Catholic sacraments, such as Communion and Confirmation, will take place outside of school hours.

The move is an important one for anti-establishment families who have been pleading with the Board of Education to separate Church and State for some time. The growing rate of multi-culturalism in Ireland has also played a part. 

This isn't the first time this year that activists have attempted to remove the Church's ethos from Irish schooling. 

A bill which would see Irish children receive an updated version of the current Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum has been blocked by committee members since 2018. 

The Provision of Objective Sexual Education Bill, fronted by TDs Paul Murphy, Bríd Smyth and Ruth Coppinger passed the second parliamentary stage in April 2018 and has, ever since, been blocked from reaching the Dáil stage. 

As it stands, the current system, which is understood to be some 20 years old, offers no education on safe internet use or support or information regarding LGBTQ+ matters.

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