Protestants

Cuts will wipe out Protestant schools, warns archbishop

EDUCATION Minister Batt O’Keeffe claimed yesterday that he withdrew 2.8m in grants from Protestant schools because the payment was deemed unconstitutional.

The Attorney General believed that to continue the grants would be unconstitutional as they were being given to the Protestant denomination and being refused to the Catholic denomination, he said in a heated Dail exchange with Fine Gael education spokesperson Brian Hayes. Mr O’Keeffe accepted that the funding position for Protestant schools in many areas could be more difficult than in Dublin.

Attack

And he repeated that he would consider any proposals that would effectively channel funding in rural areas. The claim about the constitutional position was made hours before a stinging attack on Mr O’Keeffe by the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Neill.

Dr Neill said he would like to see the legal advice offered by the Attorney General and noted that it was strange that it was being sought now, 40 years after the arrangements for Protestant schools were first made.

He warned that some Protestant schools would be put out of business. “Those that survive will only do so by charging excessive fees, thereby excluding the very community they were founded to serve,” he said.

The archbishop suggested that the ‘re-classification’ of the Protestant schools was not driven by financial considerations.

“It was driven by what amounts to a very determined and doctrinaire effort within the Department of Education and Science to strike at a sector which some officials totally failed to understand,” he claimed. Previous Governments treated these schools in a fair manner, he said.

“The same cannot be said of the present Fianna Fail / Green Party coalition,” he added.

The future of the Protestant schools was also threatened by the changes in the pupil teacher ratio from 18:1 to 20:1. “These two changes will not only cost jobs, but actually make some schools no longer viable in quite a short span of time,” he added.

Mr Hayes said Mr O’Keeffe was undermining Protestant confidence in the Government’s position, in terms of denominational education and the rights of its 21 secondary schools. Legal opinion that had never been sought in the past 40 years “has resulted in a terrible loss of faith in his position as Minister for Education and Science among the minority community,” he said. He said Protestant schools had done a deal with former Education Minister Donogh O’Malley, when he introduced free education in the 1960s, to ensure they kept grants and the minister was breaking that agreement.

Today, Mr O’Keeffe meets the management committee for Protestant schools which will ask him to restore grants and teachers to the sector.

The grants being abolished

There are five Protestant comprehensive schools where no fees are charged and 21 Protestant secondary schools where fees are charged.

Protestant fee-charging schools were paid a range of support-services grants that Catholic fee-charging schools did not receive The grants abolished were:

School-service support grant of 204 per pupil.
Caretaker and secretary grant of 69.84 per pupil, subject to maximum of 350 pupils.
Equalisation for caretaker and secretary grants of 44.44 per pupil, subject to a maximum of 350 pupils.

Savings were estimated at 2.8m.

In addition, the pupil-teacher ratio in all fee-charging schools, Protestant and Catholic, was changed from 18:1 to 20:1.

O’Keeffe to meet Protestant school representatives

Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe is due to meet representatives of Protestant secondary schools today to discuss cutbacks announced in last year’s budget.

The fee-paying schools have mounted a concerted campaign against Mr O’Keeffe’s decision to cut government funding for their facilities.

Yesterday, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin accused the Department of Education of mounting a “determined and doctrinaire” effort to undermine Protestant schools.

However, speaking in the Dail, Mr O’Keeffe said the Attorney General had advised that continuing to give grants to Protestant schools while denying them to Catholics schools would be unconstitutional

If only Billy Wright was still around.

[quote=“tipptops*”]

O’Keeffe to meet Protestant school representatives

Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe is due to meet representatives of Protestant secondary schools today to discuss cutbacks announced in last year’s budget.

The fee-paying schools have mounted a concerted campaign against Mr O’Keeffe’s decision to cut government funding for their facilities.

Yesterday, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin accused the Department of Education of mounting a “determined and doctrinaire” effort to undermine Protestant schools.

However, speaking in the Dail, Mr O’Keeffe said the Attorney General had advised that continuing to give grants to Protestant schools while denying them to Catholics schools would be unconstitutional[/quote]

Almost 12 months later and he decides to meet the schools to discuss the cuts. I’d like to know how many of the cuts announced in the last two budgets have actually been implemented?

The distinction between the two schools is unecessary and unhealthy. That should be done away with as a matter of priority.

We’re alright sorts really

Do you believe that the bread and wine at Mass is not actually the body and blood of Christ but only a symbol of it?

Do you actually think that it is ok for priests to marry?

What kind of illogical and twisted religion is this?

Something to do with aid to non-catholic schools being unconstitutional isn’t it? Bit embarrassing that the catholic church still has any place in the constitution. They’ve nearly done enough to merit their removal at this stage.

Are you wolfe tone?

You are now on ignore :mad:

[quote=“farmerinthecity”]Do you believe that the bread and wine at Mass is not actually the body and blood of Christ but only a symbol of it?

Do you actually think that it is ok for priests to marry?

What kind of illogical and twisted religion is this?[/quote]

No more twisted and illogical than any religion.

I was actually taking the piss.

As a Catholic, I have to say I think the Protestant religion makes much more sense, insofar as a religion can actually make sense.

I heard Gerry Adams, who fought a war which was at times a black and white debate between the two religions, commenting on what he believed God to be and it turns out he is more Protestant than Catholic.

Crazy when you think of it.

There’s far too much logic and reason being brought to this debate.

Surely theres a joke about Protestants protesting to be made.

If nothing else they should surely be labelled cunts or soup takers or something

[quote=“farmerinthecity”]Do you believe that the bread and wine at Mass is not actually the body and blood of Christ but only a symbol of it?

Do you actually think that it is ok for priests to marry?

What kind of illogical and twisted religion is this?[/quote]

Symbol

Sure, its only natural

Meh, it’s not perfect but its mine

Protestants are all right sorts :thumbsup:

Just out of interest, Are many here actually practising christians? Or is it the usual Weddings / Funerals etc?

in urban centres, i would agree with you farmer, but in rural areas i would disagree as there isn’t the choice of schools

How many protestant schools are in rural areas?

Bandon grammer and Kilkenny College are two that I can think of. I know both are not rural per se as their both in towns. But BGS caters for basically all of West Cork and up to the city. whereas kilkenny cater for most of the Laois/Offaly/KK/carlow region and beyond

wilson’s hospital and dundalk grammar would be another 2, can’t think of the rest at the mo, memory is a bit hazy, but if i can remember other places i played hockey against they’ll come to mind:eek:

Kings Hospital?

Kilkenny College was where most of the Wexicans went and a fair few went to FCJ Bunclody as well cos it was multidenominational I think

Wasn’t clockjordan founded as a settlement for protestants after the siege of limerick…or was some barstool republican filling me with shite