Schools and teaching religion


Sir, – Now we have heard it all. There are schools in Ireland which, in the name of religious indoctrination, prohibit their students from learning. In certain cases, children must remain in the religious class even though their parents have opted them out, and are not allowed to engage in the study of other subjects during this time (“Non-religious students often feel like second-class citizens”, Analysis, October 23rd). The schools concerned, apparently, are worried that conscientious, well-motivated students might garner an “unfair advantage” in such cases.

It would be funny if it were not outrageous. It is, however, calculated to make us the laughing stock of the civilised world.

Atheist Ireland is to be congratulated for uncovering this scandal, with the assistance of the Freedom of Information Act. – Yours, etc,


Windy Arbour,

Dublin 14.

Sir, – Pupils who opt out of religion to get an advantage by being taught other subjects? God forbid! – Yours, etc,



Dublin 9.

Sir, – Minister for Education Richard Bruton wishes to have alternative tuition options available for pupils who opt out of religion classes in secondary schools. I presume that the same service will be provided for students who do not wish to attend such courses as the “Different Families, Same Love” programme in primary schools. – Yours, etc,