Brady slams 'unhelpful' school comments

Published Thursday, 21 October 2010
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The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has attacked First Minister Peter Robinson for his comments on segregated education, which he says have caused "distrust and suspicion" in the region.

Last week Mr Robinson said did not object to church-run schools, but objected to the state funding them, branding the segregated system operating in Northern Ireland a "benign form of apartheid".

On Thursday, Cardinal Sean Brady said the First Minister's remarks were "disappointing" and "unhelpful".

"I'm disappointed with the First Minister's comments," the All-Ireland Primate said. "I think they are unhelpful at this time.

"Catholic schools are very dear to the Catholic people of Northern Ireland. It is a justice issue. There is no reason why we should settle for being second-class citizens in this matter and settling for denial of our rights which would be available to us in Scotland, Wales and England," Cardinal Brady told UTV.

In a speech, he said Mr Robinson's comments were a stark warning, which set back the future of education in Northern Ireland.

"People in Northern Ireland deserve to live in a normal society. Diversity is part of a normal society, including diversity in the range of schools available for parents to choose from."

Cardinal Brady added the remarks were not conducive to "a constructive atmosphere of collaboration, sensitivity and mutual respect."

But Mr Robinson, who has called for the creation of a commission to look at ways to implement integrated education across Northern Ireland, defended his remarks.

"It was a simple and heartfelt plea that young Protestant and Catholic children could be educated together, and that we could end the divisions in our society," the DUP leader told UTV on Thursday.

"I hope the church, as soon as they settle down, will have a rational and open debate about the matter, rather than simply storming and indicating that you're threatened every time someone opens a debate."

© UTV News
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19 Comments
BIG ERNEST in EAST ANTRIM wrote (1,460 days ago):
DISILLUSIONED ; show me where i have ever posted that catholics deserve to die and i will show you again to be a liar ? until then your just a little schoolboy ranting your usual dribble , as for my justification of sectarianism , when it comes to morals between you and I , I am a saint , your the biggest sectarian coward who posts on u.tv , ps , what about the republican after disillusioned ? where you found out ?
Disillusioned in An Dun wrote (1,463 days ago):
back to the dumb and dumber show that is 'lorna and big ernest'!! always out to lambast catholics, and judging by both your comments when it comes to saying some catholics deserved to die, i.e. a republican who was murdered (lorna) and both your justifications of sectarianism, never to condemn sectarianism from your own shady side of the street; yet you want us Catholics to put our kids into schools with your offspring?
Seamy in Derry wrote (1,464 days ago):
Maybe if they spent less time trying to control peoples minds and their wallets and more on practicing their Christian values then people would not have such contempt for them. I was taught by the Christian Brothers and I made a point of making sure my children were given a proper education well away from the Church. My kids are decent well balanced adults now who do not hate people because of their religion or their colour and who do not subscribe to the ignorance or abuse which I was taught. No Church should have any hand in educating children and anyone who insists that it should is either a brainwashed drone or some kind of ignorant bigot who wants to produce further generations of the same.
lorna in limavady wrote (1,464 days ago):
I believe that the protestant churches do not have the same control over schools that the RC church has. Many children do not attend church or sunday school .that is where the faith is taught. The school assembly is open to many preachers not just one selective system
Mark in Derry wrote (1,464 days ago):
Doirecormac said "Leave our schools alone and don't be dragging our schools down to a lower level just to accomodate those who are incapable of attaining a half decent education. " That has got to be one of the most bigoted and detrimental remarks I have read on here to date. What a pathetic and ignorant person you are. If you are an example of the type of "educated" person church run schools produce then the sooner the Churches are removed from education completely, the better.
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