Bridgette Keane and her son Mark (10) at home in Sutton, Co Dublin. Photograph:  Eric Luke

‘He is in a school yard of about 200 children, with no voice. It’s very difficult.” It’s a stark image that Bridgette Keane conjures up of her non-ve(...)

Amy Looney with second-class pupils, from left: Amelia Ziembra (7), Kamile Kisieliute (7), Haliyat Giwa (7), Dylan Keogh (7), Julien Bell Baho (8), and Adam Al Jabar (8) at Citywest and Saggart Community National School. Photograph: Eric Luke

It was so much simpler in the old days. A crucifix above the blackboard was all a school needed to symbolise its religious ethos. But what do you do w(...)

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at the opening of St James’s Catholic primary school in Basin Lane, Dublin, in April 2014, whose creation – out of two merging Catholic schools – allowed Educate Together move into a former Christian Brothers school next door. Photograph: John Mc Elroy.

A trust controlling the only Catholic school to be divested to a non-denominational patron insisted on getting “fair” economic value for the arrangem(...)

Devin Doyle and his wife Nanou with their children Juliette (2) and Valentine (6). Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Valentine Doyle (6) sits at the back of her class for 30 minutes every day and “draws”, while her classmates are taught religion. “She feels left ou(...)

At present, 30 minutes of each primary school day is allocated to religious education - twice the amount of time devoted to subjects such as science or physical education. File photograph: Getty Images

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan is to remove a 50-year old official rule which gives religion classes a privileged status, paving the way for a (...)

The GAA pitch beside Coláiste Ghobnait on Inis Oírr. Photograph: Cormac Coyne

Windguru and Magic Seaweed are not websites most school principals would consult first thing every morning, but then Mairéad Ní Fhátharta’s daily rou(...)

Where next?: Leadership is required from religious patrons, unions and politicians, but this has been lacking, according to Prof John Coolahan

The Catholic Church controls 90 per cent of Ireland’s primary schools. About 6 per cent are under the patronage of other religions, primarily(...)

Atheist: John Hamill. Photograph: Eric Luke

What happens if you’re a parent who can’t get your unbaptised children into the local Catholic school? The vast majority of parents outside (...)

Former taoiseach Jack Lynch (right), with David Andrews (centre) and Sean Barrett at the official opening of the first multi-denominational school, Dalkey school Project National School, in 1984. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Are the snakes coming back? That was the question posed in 1976 by a nasty, sectarian and anonymous pamphlet circulated in response to the Da(...)

All second-level schools are being given education packs this week on tackling homophobic and transphobic bullying as part of a national campaign. Photograph: Getty Images/Hemera

Homophobic bullying remains a major problem in Irish schools despite greater openness to lesbian, gay and transgender issues, campaigners have warned.(...)