Campaign group calls for removal of 'Baptism barrier'

Campaign group EQUATE says the only way to make all primary school children equal is to remove the Baptism requirement for schools.

It wants an end to the so-called 'Baptism barrier' - where baptised children get preferential enrolment in a school.

Four options are being put out for public consultation including catchment area, geographic area, quotas for baptised children and prohibiting the use of religion as a criteria for admission.

Head of Equate, Michael Barron is only in favour of removing the religious requirement: "We wouldn't be in favour of the other options that the Minister has put on the table at the moment.

"We believe the only full and equality of children's rights is the removal of the 'Baptism barrier' all together.

" I think it is important to say that in Ireland we have very strong equality legislation that outlaws discrimmination on the basis of race, of gender and of religion.

"I think it is important that we get our school system up to pace with the rest of the country."

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