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Calls for dismissal in pro-life class row

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Literature handed out to students in The Harold school, Glasthule

Literature handed out to students in The Harold school, Glasthule

Literature handed out to students in The Harold school, Glasthule

ANTI-ABORTION literature was handed out to children as young as five in a Dublin national school.

Parents were furious when their children in the Harold School in Glasthule were handed the material advertising an anti-abortion rally and told to take it home to their parents.

Some have called for the senior official who wanted the flyers handed out to resign. It's understood this person gave hundreds of pro-life leaflets to the principal and requested they be given to each pupil.

The principal is believed to have placed the leaflets in the teachers' pigeons holes – a matter of course when there is literature to be dispensed to children.

Three of the teachers handed out the leaflet on Friday, June 7, which advertised a pro-life rally that was held in Dublin city centre on Saturday, June 8.

The school's former principal, Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, told the Herald that she "feels strongly that children should not be used to distribute political or commercial messages".

She confirmed to the Herald that she will be supporting the Government on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill.

The leaflet handed out to children featured a photo of a woman and baby on one side, with the message: 'National Vigil For Life' written beside it.

On the reverse it said: 'Right now our Government proposes dangerous and unjust abortion legislation'. Abortion for a suicide threat means abortion on request," it adds.

Angry parents branded that action as "an abuse of power and trust". On mum raged: "To me these issues are very sensitive and completely in the domain of adults, and to use children to channel this information to influence others is totally inappropriate."

The school principal and senior official in question were unavailable for comment.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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