Saturday, June 25, 2011

Is the state considering confiscating church property?

A report in the Independent says the Department of Education will "take action on the divesting of schools if there was a delay in reaching agreement on a handover from Catholic-run schools to different patrons." What the report doesn't say is what action the government will take if the Forum on Pluralism and Patronage doesn't come to a speedy resolution of the issues that are currently being discussed.

It is intriguing to consider whether the state will simply confiscate church property in order to meet this "urgent" need for providing more diversity in primary education. I can't see any other option because to simply start opening new schools in temporary facilities while the Forum does its job would mean hiring a whole load of new teachers, which I would imagine our EU/ECB/IMF overlords would frown upon.

Until now I thought this process was going to be a voluntary one, but maybe not? Would Fine Gael back such a move? This could get interesting.