Politicians call for religious influence to be removed from Irish state-funded schools • GCN

Irish politicians say religious influence has no place in the education system and teachings should be informed by best practice in science and health.

Labor Party TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin wants religious patronage removed from schools in light of church-related scandals such as mothers and babies houses, a position which has earned the Labor Party a letter of criticism from the bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore.

The letter, addressed to Labor Party leader Alan Kelly, accused Ó Ríordáin of “almost inciting hatred” for the suggestion, while failing to spell TD’s name correctly.

“If it requires a referendum, we should do it,” said Ó Ríordáin, firm in his position, “let’s fight this referendum and win this referendum. “

He went on to say: “Any self-respecting Social Democrat would argue for a separation of Church and State in matters of education. We were emerging from a moving debate about Madeleine laundries and mother and baby homes before my comments and it is very clear to me that religious influence on education must end.

Meanwhile, Gary Gannon and Cian O’Callaghan, among others, are calling for reform of sex education.

Specifically, Social Democrats education spokesperson Gannon launched his education (health, relationships and sex education) bill that “will ensure that every student and every school receiving funding from the ‘The state will receive the same evidence-based education in health, relationships and sex education, regardless of the ethics of their school.

“It is not acceptable for children in primary schools to learn that relationships can be hierarchical, based on sexual orientation,” Dublin Central TD said. “It is also totally unacceptable that LGBTQ + teachers teach that their relationships are somehow less good. “

Cian O’Callaghan, of the same party, recalls that during his school days, a child in his class asked the teacher about relationships and sex education for same-sex couples, “the response received was’ I’ll leave that to your imagination ‘”.

He told Education Minister Norma Foley that there was “nothing in the response you have given so far that really gives me confidence that other LGBTQ + students would not potentially be in a similar situation today ”.

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