RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS like Christmas and St Patrick’s Day could soon be a thing of the past in some Catholic schools.
That’s according to staff from two schools in Ireland who are opposed to a new initiative being proposed by the Department of Education.
The proposals comes as part of concerted plans to help reduce the influence of the Catholic Church in schools.
Eight schools in the Portmarnock/Malahide/Kinsealy area are consulting with parents over the plans that could see them switch from Catholic to a multi-denominational patronage. Parents are set to vote on the plans in an upcoming ballot.
However, staff from Scoil an Duinnínigh, a gaelscoil, and St Marnock’s National School have expressed their opposition to the plans in a series of meetings and letters to parents.
According to the Irish Independent, they claim that festive celebrations like the annual Christmas fair, carol services, and nativity plays will be scrapped.
Worse still, they claim that other religious holidays like Easter and St. Patrick’s Day will also cease to be celebrated in these primary schools.
Scoil an Duinnínigh also claimed Irish like dia duit, would no longer be allowed because they reference God.
It also suggested playing, singing or dancing to music with any religious reference, including the St Patrick’s Day ‘anthem’, would not be prohibited.
The school had hoped to make the change in patronage at the start of the next school year in September 2019.
But the Department of Education has rejected that suggestion.
That's despite warnings from schools that a change of patronage is likely to have a significant effect on management and culture.