‘Baptism barrier’ and schools


Sir, – The topic exercising the minds of all right-thinking people in the developed world at present is whether or not a religious test has been applied to the right to travel to the United States. Yet, here in Ireland, the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association (CPSMA) thinks it is acceptable that, as your headline has it, “Just over 1% per cent of children are refused a place over baptism barrier” (February 8th) in our national primary schools.

Of course, as was explained by Rob Sadlier in the letters page on the same day, the baptism barrier is only the tip of the iceberg. The stated aim of Catholic school managers of presenting religious principles as facts in the teaching of all subjects, through what they term the “integrated curriculum”, means exposure to indoctrination against their parents’ wishes of even those children who fall into the 95 per cent category where, in the words of the CPSMA chairman, “we take everyone who applies”. Everyone who applies to the state school system. Once again, breath-taking arrogance from a spokesperson for the Catholic Church. A state education for all children, without reference to creed or the lack of it, is a human right, full stop. – Yours, etc,


Windy Arbour,

Dublin 14.