Monday 18 December 2017

Editorial: Time to act on schools' birth certs

Jan O'Sullivan
Jan O'Sullivan

The practice of schools asking for baptism certs before admitting pupils has been strongly criticised.

Earlier this year the Humanist Association of Ireland launched a campaign on the issue, claiming that non-religous parents were baptising their children to get them into Catholic schools.

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan has told this newspaper that she “particularly uncomfortable” with this, adding that no-one should feel forced to baptise their child.

Many agree with her. But many others argue that a school’s right to dictate its own religious ethos is a key one – and moreover one protected by law.

In many instances the issue, particularly in Dublin, is not one of religion by of geography. Children, of all religions and none, should be able to attend a school in their area without going on waiting lists or submitting baptism certs.

Parents need more options, which means more schools, which – as Ms O’Sullivan knows – means more funding.

Horse Show a real treat

AUGUST wouldn’t be August in Dublin without the Horse Show.

The annual event, which got under way yesterday and runs until Sunday, is now in its 142nd year, having been postponed only for two world wars.

Over its long history the Show has weathered good and bad times, and this year thankfully looks to be the former.

Some 100,000 spectators are expected to attend over the five days, with 300 trade stalls on site and almost €1m in prize money on offer.

The highlight of the Show will of course be Friday’s Aga Khan Trophy, but much attention will be focused outside the arena today for Ladies’ Day.

The Dublin Horse Show is a unique event and one of the sporting and social highlights of the year in the capital. Here’s to an enjoyable few days at the RDS.

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