Voters ‘intimidated’ in Church- owned schools, TDs claim

Voters ‘intimidated’ in Church- owned schools, TDs claim

Left-wing TDs Clare Daly and Richard Boyd-Barrett have complained that voters were “intimidated” when voting in the May 25 abortion referendum by being confronted with religious imagery in Church-owned schools.

Speaking in the Dáil last week, Ms Daly said there had been “strategic location of religious iconography” in order to, she had been told “influence the vote”.

She said that for voters in one school in Garristown, Co. Dublin, “there was literally an altar that they had to pass”, and that in Sallins national school, “residents were very unhappy to have to go past a wall full of hand-drawn pictures of the Virgin Mary”.

Mr Boyd-Barrett said that he received calls from voters in Booterstown, saying that “people complained that when they walked into a national school to vote on the referendum they were confronted with Bibles and statues of the Virgin Mary”.

Claiming that voters who complained could not get such statues removed, he said: “frankly, they were intimidated by them”.

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