Labour senator launches petition to end state-funding of denominational schools 

The rights of denominational schools to State-funding should be stripped from the Constitution according to Labour party Senator, Aodhan O’Riordan. Toward that end the Labour party have launched a petition demanding that a Citizens’ Assembly be convened to prepare the way for the radical constitutional changes that would require.

The party’s education spokesman, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said that 95pc of primary schools are run by religious denominations. He said: “Instead of a public education system, we have a State funded education system which farms out responsibility for the running of schools to patron bodies.”

Mr Ó Ríordáin has launched a petition calling a Citizens’ Assembly to be convened to consider changes to the Constitution to address religious control of the education system.

“It’s time for a national conversation about how we achieve a modern, secular and equality-based education system for the Ireland of today, and what we hope to achieve for tomorrow,” he said.

Mr Ó Ríordáin also said: “The legislative and policy changes introduced to date on how we hire teachers, allow schools enrol pupils, and how patronage is awarded and divested, are limited by our basic law. “To fundamentally change our education system, the Constitution must change, and that should start with a meaningful and considered analysis, discussion and debate through a Citizens’ Assembly.”