Eamon Ryan backs end to funding for Catholic schools

Green Party candidate Eamon Ryan has backed a campaign to end State funding of Catholic schools. Mr Ryan, who is running in the European elections in Dublin, is supporting a so-called secular statement distributed by atheist campaigners. The document also calls for an end to charitable status for religious bodies and removal of religious references from the Constitution.

According to Atheist Ireland, Mr Ryan, who as Communications Minister refused to lift a ban on advertising the sale of Holy Communion gifts, and his Green Party supporters signed a statement based on the so-called ‘Dublin Declaration’.

The document demands that parents should have no right to send their children to a school run in accordance with their religious values. It insists that “religions should have no special financial consideration in public life, such as tax-free status for religious activities, or grants to promote religion or run faith schools”.

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Labour Party and Sinn Féin have all refused to sign the controversial document.

The document also asserts that “the only reference in the Constitution to religion should be an assertion that the State is secular”.

As well as the ban on State funding to cater for parents who want their children to have a faith-based education, the document asserts that “State education should be secular”.

“Religious education, if it happens, should be limited to education about religion and its absence,” according to the Atheist Ireland document.

It also demands that there should be “no faith formation in school hours”.

For an update, see: http://www.irishcatholic.ie/article/eamon-ryan-backs-away-attack-catholic-education