Labour calls for removal of link between Church and State in education

Removing the link between Church and State in education is the next big constitutional question that needs to be addressed after last week's historic referendum, the Labour party believe.

Calling on Health Minister Simon Harris to press ahead with enabling legislation around terminations as quickly as possible, the party have also called on Government to address our education system.

Speaking outside the Dáil this morning former Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan there has been an "appetite for some time" for the divestment of schools out of the hands of the Catholic Church to provide a more pluralist education system.

"I think proposably it's a bit like the result of the referendum on Saturday, that the people are ahead of the system," she said.

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said the Citizens' Assembly should now address the role of Church and State in the provision of education.

People always ask what's next and our view from a constitutional framework is that the next big question for people to address is the relationship between the Church and State in education.

"That has been raised whenever we try to do anything in the education system, that constitutional reality about the protection of patron's rights in the Constitution is very difficult to overcome.

"It goes beyond the religious element it goes to every single facet of school life, if we are going to talk about what comes next it's the constitutional impediment of delivering proper secular education in Ireland because there is still a chill factor for LGBT teachers, for LGBT students and I think anybody who went and voted on Friday will still have walked past a huge amount of religious iconography before they cast their vote, so I think that is the next big constitutional question we have to ask ourselves," he said.

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