Baptism and school places

Sir, – Reading Kitty Holland's article on school places or lack thereof in her neighbourhood I get the overwhelming impression – as I did the first time she wrote on the subject – that if her child had gained a place locally, say by lottery, that your columnist would not be particularly exercised by what is essentially a resource issue ("Removing the baptism barrier is largely meaningless", Opinion & Analysis, January 20th).

There is no sense of outrage that there are simply not enough school places, merely annoyance that the particular method of allocating inexcusably scarce resources inconveniences her.

Many of us would like to live in fashionable Ranelagh and other smart areas close to the city centre, however most people consider such basic issues as schooling when choosing a family home, even if that moves moving to the boring suburbs.

Your columnist’s rants have more than a whiff of entitlement and church-bashing. – Yours, etc,




Co Dublin.

Sir, – An unfortunate combination of apathy and the effects of indoctrination in earlier generations means that parents who suffer the anger, hurt, exclusion and powerlessness described by Kitty Holland must continue to do so for some time to come. In the meantime we can only hope to raise awareness of the injustice that this represents; not an easy prospect when condemnation of Ireland’s discriminatory primary education system has already earned the opprobrium of a number of UN committees, as well as flying in the face of EU anti-discrimination directives by means of derogation, without having any apparent impact on the people who are in control of policy in this area. – Yours, etc,


Windy Arbour,

Dublin 14.

A chara, – Kitty Holland says “the State continues to kowtow to the church”. She seems to forget that the people of this nation are largely made up of people of faith – people who have a constitutional right to have their children educated according to the ethos of their religion – and it is to them this State must listen to first on this issue.

I realise it is frustrating for the highly vocal few, especially those in the media elite like your columnist, that the State refuses to kowtow to them on this matter; but given that they seem agreed that the changes to the system proposed by the Minister in order to appease them somewhat are “meaningless”, I propose as an alternative the system be left as it is and that he promise instead to provide more school places where they are needed. – Is mise,



Co Kilkenny.