Students of faith are facing intimidation

Dear Editor, Well done to David Quinn for highlighting the discrimination faced by student pro-life groups in Irish universities in his article, ‘Time for Church leaders to help students who have been silenced in our colleges’ (IC 09/10/2014).

I agree with Mr Quinn that it is time to rally round these student groups and support them. It is also time to assess the situation facing students of faith generally in our universities. 

This summer, I had the privilege of being present at a large Catholic youth event. I had an exhibition about Ireland’s new faithfully Catholic liberal arts college, Newman College Ireland (NCI).

This meant that young people who came to the NCI stand often talked to me about education and especially about their experience of Irish universities, colleges and secondary schools. I learned from them that discrimination is a reality not just for groups but for individual students who reveal their faith through their essays, questions, responses to questions or through their objections to something being taught. 

Also, from what I was told by students, when this discrimination is applied to individuals it unfortunately often takes on the form of intimidation, isolation and bullying by fellow students, and more worryingly by teaching staff.

This is a serious development that needs to be addressed. I would join Mr Quinn in particularly calling on the Church to support students.

Yours etc.,

Kathy Sinnott,


Co. Cork.