New teaching institute sparks religious row
A ROW is brewing over plans for a new multidenominational Institute of Education at Dublin City University, which will train Catholic and Protestant teachers together for the first time.
The report, 'A New Vision of Education for all the Children of Ireland', was launched by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn last week, setting out the plans for the institute. It will replace St Patrick's College, Mater Dei Institute, as well as the Church of Ireland College of Education.
However, the plans were criticised by a member of staff at St Patrick's College, who said he was expressing the views of other committed Catholics in St Patrick's and Mater Dei. Dr Ciaran O Coigligh of the Department of Irish described the proposed institute as "a takeover" by secular DCU.
However, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, described Dr O Coigligh's accusations as "unfair".
"To me, this is a model way in which space is found for the religious traditions of Ireland to flourish and find their place in a broad, secularised society," he said.