Sunday 21 January 2018

Julia Molony: Ex-principal's rigorous moral sanctions have a gender bias

Out-of-touch O'Shea must realise females, pregnant or not, have a right to education, writes Julia Molony

Padraig O'Shea, the self-styled moral guardian of modern Ireland, has been hitting the headlines again, adding further to his public image as a pastiche right out of Father Ted.

You will probably remember O'Shea, a former principal and school manager who came to our attention after obstructing a pregnant teenager's bid for an education. Back then, he refused the unnamed girl entry to St Joseph's, his private Catholic school in Co Tipperary, on the basis that she was pregnant. She reapplied after having given birth, but was rejected again because she was a single mother.

The incident caused a ricochet of shock around the country. No room at the inn, was his resounding message, or at least not for a woman whom he, in his wisdom, seemed to consider "fallen".

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