September 3, 2013
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Charlie McConalogueTDDONEGAL TD Charlie McConalogue has described a proposal by the Labour Party’s Aodhán Ó Riordáin to cut chaplaincy services from VECs and community schools as the latest front in the party’s ‘Culture War’, criticising the plan as ‘typically myopic and mean spirited’.

Deputy McConalogue told Donegal Daily: “The attempt of the Labour Party to remove all trace of religious faith from public life in Ireland is well understood, however the latest front in this Culture War marks a new low.

“Deputy Aodhán Ó Riordáin’s proposal to cancel funding for chaplaincy services in VECs and community schools comes hot on the heels of the Labour Party’s dismantling of the school counsellor system and shows a shocking disregard for the effect that these decisions are having on vulnerable students.”

“As someone with a background in education, you would expect Deputy Ó Riordáin to understand that the chaplaincy service in these institutions is more about student support than anything else.

“Since his party demolished the student counsellor system, these individuals have taken on a more important pastoral support role than ever before.

“Unfortunately, it appears that such considerations take a back seat when it comes to the Labour Party’s prosecution of their Culture War. The proposal is myopic and mean spirited and I am calling on the Minister for Education to move quickly to dissociate himself and his department from it.”



  1. It ill behoves Deputy McConalogue to talk about Labour’s culture war.His party since coming to power has imposed a cultural uniformity They used the catholic church,gaa and the educational system to impose a set of beliefs to which everyone was expected to conform.It left no room for individuality ,stifled creativity,discouraged critical thinking and was anti-intellectual.A classic example was on Fianna Fail coming to power they issued a dictate to the department of education that history was to be taught from a republican perspective only.I suspect it was never withdrawn.Those who rejected the stereotypical might not have been sent to the gulag but used the safety valve of alcohol or emigration.Thankfully we now live in a more open society and questions should be asked about the role of chaplaincy since trained catechists teach religion and counsellors give professional guidance.This is not a culture war it is the application of reason.The Labour Party believe that religious faith should inform public life thereby influencing decisions.That’s a democratic entitlement and cannot be removed by anyone including the Labour Party.

    1. So Charlie is going to get up on his high horse and lecture Labour who have finally had the guts to challenge the catholic church and its hold on the Irish education system.

      I’m sorry Charlie but I can’t respect your party, your party sat by and failed to take action in relation to the catholic churches abuses in this country.

      Your party sat by and made deals so the catholic church wouldn’t have to properly compensate its victims.

      The time is thankfully coming where the tax payers in Ireland will no longer fund the catholic church’s brain washing of our children and the exclusion of other faiths in our school system.

      Where priority is given to catholic children in the local school over non-catholics, even though its a tax payer funded school. All with the excuse of it being a catholic “ethos” school.

      We can’t continue with a education system where at primary level children spend as much time on religion as they do with English and Maths (OECD Survey stats),

      Religion as a subject is not equal to Maths or English in our education system.

      By all means if parents want to teach religion at home then they should, if they want to bring their kids to mass then they should also. But its not the governments job to brain wash children with catholic church “teachings”.

  2. “student support” !
    An example of this in a Donegal school last year took the form of single parent children being singled out from the rest.
    Some support, some chaplain.

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