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More than 21 protest events are to be staged across the country on Friday coinciding with school strikes for action on climate change, which will be attended by thousands of pupils, according to some of the organisers. Two large protests will be held at lunchtime, coinciding with a global protest in 75 countries prompted by the school strike by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. The Dublin event takes place between 1pm and 2pm outside Leinster House, while the Cork rally takes place outside Cork City Hall at the same time. The events are being organised via social media, while many schools and parents are helping to organise or permitting attendance at events — by allowing a set number or particular classes to attend in most cases. In addition, many schools are staging events in solidarity on their own premises. There is no indication of any schools closing for the day. The students have singled out the Government for inaction and lack of urgency on climate change in an initial six demands issued last week. Meanwhile three Irish students have been invited to the European Parliament in Strasbourg to participate in a press conference hosted by school strikers from across Europe on Tuesday. The Department of Education has indicated a decision on participation or not was a matter for principals and school boards. Asti , which represents secondary teachers, said its members would adhere to decisions by the boards.
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This religious domination of public education is anomalous in a developed nation. In , a government report recognised the need for change and recommended that some schools divest their religious patronage.
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More than 21 events taking place coinciding with schools strikes for action

The two convicts are the youngest in the history of Ireland to be charged with murder. On 14 May , Ana attended a counselling session. She went home from school, changed out of uniform and walked to Leixlip town centre. This was unusual; Ana's mother Geraldine recalled that Ana had no friends and that "nobody calls for Ana. There was also signs of sexual assault and blue Tescon building tape was found around her neck. Two boys, both aged 13, immediately came under suspicion. As minors, they cannot be named in the media and are known in reports as Boy A and Boy B. Both were charged with murder ; Boy A was additionally charged with aggravated sexual assault. Both charges carry potential life sentences for adults, but these are not mandatory for children. The two accused were found guilty of murder on 18 June

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Dozens of rallies are to be held around Ireland on Friday as part of the Fridays for Future movement, which calls on students around the world to skip school and stage demonstrations demanding action on climate change. The movement began in August after Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg , who was then years-old, sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis. Why do they have to be held on a school day? Why on a Friday? Mr McGinty pointed to a number of initiatives the school was taking to combat the climate crisis. All electricity connected to teaching and learning will be shut down during periods seven and eight. Classroom technology will be set aside. Bells will be silenced. I look for your support on this. It provides an occasion to consider how each one of us can make a difference.

This religious domination of public education is anomalous in a developed nation. In , a government report recognised the need for change and recommended that some schools divest their religious patronage. Progress has been slow. Though the church agrees that some divestment is necessary, at local level it is reluctant to cede power.

After a survey of parents of pre-school children in an area of Dublin apparently indicated that more than a quarter wanted multi-denominational education for their children, it was decided that one of the eight local Catholic primary schools should divest.

Incomprehensibly, the state all but handed over administration of the divestment process to the church. The result? Catholic schools denied parents any objective information on alternative patrons, then warned them that if they voted for divestment there would be no opportunity to reconsider once they learned details of the proposed replacement.

Who in their right mind would vote for change under those circumstances? People want their children to have a Catholic education. Faced with public attention on its untruths and manipulations, the archdiocese of Dublin announced that the divestment votes in north Dublin would be postponed. Some things will, of course, change in a non-denominational or multi-denominational school. For example, preparation for Catholic sacraments would take place outside school hours, a shift potentially just as beneficial for Catholic children as for non-Catholics.

One parent complained that her children sit through 30 minutes of formal religious instruction daily. The decision that Irish parents are being asked to make is of great significance. Why do state schools continue to teach Irish children to respect the moral authority of the Catholic church, when most Irish adults, aware of the lessons of the Ryan report , the Ferns report , the Cloyne report and too many others , know that such respect is dangerous and misplaced?

Why do we continue to show children that it is normal for the church to play a privileged part in public life, when generations have lived the tragic effects of such indoctrination? If we continue to keep children ignorant of any religious belief but Catholicism, and teach them that children of other faiths are deviations from the norm, will we act surprised when these seeds grow into intolerance and division in our newly diverse Ireland?

And will we continue to ignore the misogyny and homophobia of the Catholic church, and to pretend that this has no effect on the children in its schools?

Imagine an Ireland in which children were taught that moral authority is to be earned and can be revoked; that Catholicism is one faith among many; that boys and girls can play equal roles in any institution; that families come in all shapes and sizes. This can happen. There is a chance right now to make it happen. But it will never happen while the Catholic church is running the show.

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