Anecdotally, I’ve heard plenty about the recent wave of immigrants to the Republic Of Ireland from my many Irish friends here (the Irish have quite a colony in Madrid). And here, The Guardian reports that efforts at integration on the Emerald Isle aren’t going so well, especially in terms of education. Huh, who woulda thunk it’s be a problem to have 90% of your schools run by the Catholic Church?

From the article:

Ireland’s newest primary school is overwhelmingly black, the majority of its pupils with parents from Nigeria and some, judging by the number of mothers in head-scarves, from the Islamic faith.

The school was created out of incompetence rather than design. A huge population increase, partly due to immigration from Africa, China and eastern Europe, has put enormous pressure on the school system. The result, according to one local councillor, has been the creation of a “mini-apartheid” in the seaside town, with the new “emergency” school almost exclusively filled with the children of immigrants.

So what’s the church got to do with it? Well, they’re turning kids away for not having baptismal certificates, so all the rejected immigrant kids in this one country are being lumped together – that’ll be good for building a sense of community cohesion.

The chief executive of the group opening the non-denominational school described above says “There is profound, embedded and institutionalised religious discrimination throughout the system, particularly at primary level. This discrimination is the responsibility of the state, not of schools or religious bodies.”

Of course it’s the responsibility of the state! Because education itself should be the responsibility of the state, and not of the Catholic Church.