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Humanists make school complaint

30 January 2015

iSTOCK

THE children of parents who do not practise religion are faced with having to undergo "pragmatic baptisms" to obtain a place in Irish schools, because 90 per cent of primary schools in the country are under Roman Catholic control, the Humanist Association of Ireland has said.

The association is now calling on the government to ban schools from asking for baptism certificates or other documentation to prove religious affiliation as a means to gain admission to such centres of education.

The leader of the Humanists Association of Ireland, Brian Whiteside, is to meet the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and the Minister for Education, Jan O'Sullivan, next Thursday, for the first time since the structured dialogue for churches and secular groups was established ten years ago by the then Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern. Mr Whiteside said that education was to be at the top of the agenda.

"There is a new reality that has to be addressed," he said. "One third of couples are getting married in non-religious ceremonies. It is reasonable to ask what sort of schools they want for their children."

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