It's a sign of the rapidly changing times in the 'new' Ireland. Next year up to 20 multi-denominational schools will open compared with only two Roman Catholic and one Protestant primary school.
This is great news. I have no problems with the current schools though, as I went to a Catholic school from primary level. Getting into primary school initially was difficult and some discussion was needed back then, at least I was baptised. Once I got in, it was grand. In secondary school, they were quite open for folks coming in, we did not have to attend religion classes, it was a free class (which was brilliant for doing homework). One thing though, every morning the headmistress would have a morning prayer every morning. I thought this was normal until I told my husband. He went to a private school that did not have any prayers forced onto people. I suppose I grew up having to say prayers in class, and listen to prayers over the announcement system (great way to nap for 10 minutes), and have mass twice a year and it felt a norm at the time.
One thing though, I remember having to visit a nun who gave alotted slots for leaving cert students in her class to practice oral Irish. After I did my practise, she was trying to encourage me to have my communion and confirmation made after doing my leaving cert. I felt really pressured, but I thought nought of it till now. And she seemed really friendly at the time, I'm infuriated just thinking about right now. How dare she! Anyway, back to the point of this article...
Ireland now has more multi-ethnic students, a worrying sign though is a school that was recently opened are all blacks because these students could not get places in established Irish schools. Of course, Minister for Education denies that it was racism:
Ms Hanafin also said local authorities were partly responsible for the situation because they provided planning permission for new housing developments without checking that the necessary social infrastructure, such as school size, was in place.
A blame game this might be, but at least something came out of this, even though an all-black school was opened to highlight the problems with trying to enroll into Irish schools, particulary Catholic schools.