21 October 2015
By Elaine Murphy
Speaking from the Dáil today Deputy Jonathan O’Brien, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson called on the Minister for Education and Skills to move swiftly to bring forward legislation ensuring that children are not discriminated against in school admission on the basis of their religion.
Deputy O’Brien said;
“Today I met with another parent, Mr. Roopesh Panicker who applied for six schools before he found one that would take his daughter.
“She was routinely discriminated against from all of these schools purely because she was not a Catholic child.
“This level of discrimination against children in Ireland in 2015 is absolutely unacceptable and it is our view that Section 7 (3) (c) of the Equal Status Act 2000 that legally upholds this, must be repealed.
“We will table amendments to the forthcoming Admissions Bill in order to address this issue but the Minister has a responsibility to address this as a matter.
“The parent I met today is forced to travel around a half an hour by car every day to send his child to school. It is shameful that this little girl cannot be in a class with her friends in the school near her house.
“There is a demonstration on Sunday in opposition to these unequal laws, and I am calling on the Minister to adhere to the calls of the organisers as a matter of urgency and ensure that children are no longer discriminated against on the basis of their religion.”