The Blanket

Dispute At Dunboyne School


Sir, - We, the undersigned journalists, writers and broadcasters, wish to express our concern at the dismissal of Tomás Ó Dulaing, head of the Irish-language primary school Gaelscoil Tulach na nÓg in Dunboyne, Co Meath.

Mr Ó Dulaing was dismissed because of his stance on the teaching of religion, and the protection of the minority of Church of Ireland children in his school. The school is inter-denominational. The agreed religion classes in the school taught those aspects of doctrine which the Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland hold in common. Catholic children were prepared for sacraments in special classes, immediately after school.

This reasonable arrangement was not acceptable to An Foras Patrúnachta, which acts as patron of Irish-language schools in the Republic. While over 80 per cent of parents support Mr Ó Dulaing, the school's Board of Management has sacked him. His trade union, the INTO, strongly supports him.

We believe this case is very important. We hold that Mr Ó Dulaing has been dismissed due to his stance in defending a religious minority. He is appealing to An Foras Patrúnachta on June 29th and we ask it to uphold his appeal. This dismissal has too many echoes of the religious obscurantism of the past. Mr Ó Dulaing stands for an Ireland that is a multicultural society, welcoming to all its people.

- Yours, etc.,
ANTON McCABE, (Journalist, Omagh);
MICK BROWN, (Journalist, Belfast);
Dr MANAS Ó BAOILL (writer, Newcastle);
DARACH McDONALD, (journalist, Omagh);
ADRIAN MULLAN, (Journalist, Omagh);
IAN MALCOLM, (Journalist, Lurgan);
EAMONN McCANN, (Journalist and Writer, Derry);
GORETTI HORGAN, (Writer/ Broadcaster, Derry);
COLIN DEVINE, (Journalist, Belfast);
Dr EMMET O'CONNOR, (Writer and Historian, Derry);
DAVE DUGGAN, (Writer and Director, Derry);
PADDY HUNTER, (Journalist, Omagh);
FRANK GALLIGAN, (Broadcaster and Poet, Derry);
PATRICK SMYTH, (Journalist, Washington, USA);
JENNIFER JOHNSTON, (Novelist, Derry);
LIZ CURTIS, (Writer, Belfast);
JOHN McATEER, (Journalist, Milford);
ANTHONY McINTYRE, (Writer, Belfast).




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Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them..
- James Baldwin

Index: Current Articles

28 June 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


The Pity of War

Billy Mitchell


Dispute At Dunboyne School

Wealth Before Health

Anthony McIntyre

Belfast: Political Sectarianism and the Left
Davy Carlin

23 June 2002


It Is But Institutionalised Collusion

Davy Carlin


Snarling Down Below
Eoghan O’Suillabhain

Reunion vs Six-County Independence

Paul A. Fitzsimmons

Eire Nua
Sean O Lubaigh



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