Resources for Secular Education Ireland:  Schools based on Equality not Religious Discrimination

This information that will be linked to on this page is currently being compiled. It will include such resources as:

1. The responsibility of the state for education under the European Convention on Human Rights and the various UN Conventions. A link to Costello Roberts v UK and the relevant UN General Comments.

2. The Constitutional Review Group Report 1995 – The relevant sections that deal with education and human rights for example “if Article 44.2.4 did not provide these safeguards then the state might well be in breach of all its international obligations”.

3. All the statements from the UN and Council of Europe on our Education system. All the comments of the Government on education to the various UN and Council of Europe committees.

4. The Relevant cases at the European Court and the UN. We will quote the specific sections that are very significant.

5. What is religious education as opposed to religious instruction? The OSCE Guidelines and the Recommendation 1720 of the Council of Europe. The fact that the Holy See has opted out of these Guidelines and are the only people that have done so. The UN General Comments on what is permitted under this subject.

6. Various Submissions to the UN and Council of Europe on education. Relevant sections from people such as Irish Human Rights Commission, Ombudsman for Children and Alison Mawhinney.

7. Our Education Act, the relevant sections.

8. VEC’s , Deeds of trust for Community Schools, Designated Community Colleges and Circular letter 73/74. The relevant sections that deal with religion and what they mean for us.

9. What does multi-denominational and non-denominational mean. What does the Government and the VEC believe they mean. What do the UN and Council of Europe think they mean.

10. Discrimination in the Education system. Issues like opting out without discrimination. This could be connected to the main case law at the European Court.


  1. Avatar
    catherine mc verry September 03, 2011

    Do you have an on-line petition to hand in to minister for Education?
    If not- I think you should set one up. After watching last night’s Late late Show, I got the impression a lot of people want to see some real action on this -but are helpless to know what to do- online petition would be very effective.

    • Avatar
      Leanne mcnulty June 01, 2016

      Something has to be done about this. Its not right that the Catholic church still control so many of our schools


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