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“It is clear that a system in which 92 percent of all primary schools are managed by the Roman Catholic Church in a country where the Catholic population is 87 percent is certainly not tenable,” said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in a June speech to members of the Irish Primary Principals Network.
“The current almost monopoly is a historical hangover that doesn’t reflect the realities of the times and is, in addition, in many ways detrimental to the possibility of maintaining a true Catholic identity in Catholic schools,” Martin continued.
According to The Irish Times, Martin advocated a gradual approach to changing the school system. He also warned that the rights of parents and religious denominations should not be brushed aside by those who say schools should “simply be handed over to the State and the church should return to its sacristies.”