Blacks-Only School Is Not 'Apartheid' Says Minister; 1.hanafin: No Class Discrimination 2.school Places: Some of the New Pupils at Scoil Coilm in Dublin 15 Picture: RT News

Daily Mail (London), September 4, 2007 | Go to article overview

Blacks-Only School Is Not 'Apartheid' Says Minister; 1.hanafin: No Class Discrimination 2.school Places: Some of the New Pupils at Scoil Coilm in Dublin 15 Picture: RT News


Byline: IAN CAREY

THE Government has been accused of allowing 'educational apartheid',after it emerged that a school in Dublin only has children of black immigrantsin its classes.

The school was specifically opened to take in pupils who were refused places inother facilities, but when parents turned up they found they were all black.

And many told how their children had been refused places in other schoolsbecause they were not Catholic.

Some claimed they felt they were being put under pressure to have theirchildren baptised, even though they were of another denomination, so that theycould get an education.

The situation arose when a nondenominational school was set up in Balbriggan,Co. Dublin, to deal with the lack of places in the area.

The problem was so acute in the north Dublin town that the Department ofEducation asked the multi-denominational organisation Educate Together to openthe school as a matter of emergency only weeks ago.

But the Minister for Education Mary Hanafin yesterday denied that theGovernment was to blame for the situation.

And speaking on RT... Radio, Minister Hanafin said there was no institutionaldiscrimination within the educational system in Ireland.

In an extraordinary new definition of what constitutes racial discrimintion,she then added: 'It might be a skin colour issue, but it's not necessarily arace issue.' She said that the problem arose because all of the families hadarrived in the country in February or March. The minister said: 'The nature ofIrish society is changing. It's particularly changing in some communities.' Butthe Balbriggan situation is mirrored in another school in the capital. Thenewly opened Scoil Choilm, in the parish of Diswellstown, Dublin 15, hasreportedly only one student from an Irish background in attendance. …

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