Handing over Catholic schools

Dear Editor, Cathal Barry (IC 08/01/2015) reports the proposal of the Forum on Diversity’s Professor Coolahan that Catholic schools be financially penalised for not takings a proactive stance in handing over Catholic schools to secularists. His proposed discrimination is most alarming.

Two years ago the Department for Education undertook a massive patronage survey in the greater Killarney area. As part of the exercise the department stated that there was no demographic need for an additional school and that one of the existing Catholic schools would have to be divested. A few people, myself included, argued in the local press that a new school should be established for those not wanting a Catholic education.

Although we believed otherwise we were clearly told by the department that the numbers did not warrant an additional school. In the meantime existing schools have been given permission to build new classrooms.

The department insisted that there were to be no public meetings on the question of reorganisation and so it seems utterly hypocritical for Professor Coolahan to place blame on existing boards of management and patrons for an absence of democratic dialogue. Why does he want to punish our Catholic children?

In Killarney and elsewhere there is a need for the Government to consult with locals and rethink the situation. From a parental perspective many of us want to see the enhancement of Catholic education, but not to the detriment of choice for families who expressed a desire for an alternative provision.

Yours etc.,

Alan Whelan,


Co. Kerry