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4.3.1 The Constitution 1937

The Constitution of Ireland was enacted in 1937, replacing the previous constitution. There are three sections of the Constitution which relate directly to National Schools – (i) Article 42 sections 1 to 4 relates to parents rights in relation to the education of their children in National Schools and other primary schools, (ii) Article 44.2.2 relating to State support for religion and (iii) Article 44.2.4 relating to how publically funded schools must act in relation to admissions and to religion.

Eamon DeValera is given credit for the formulation of the Constitution. He was a devout Catholic, but he was not the pawn of the Catholic Church, and he was aware of the dangers of a State dominated by the Church. He was a revolutionary, and, particularly in regard to education in National Schools, the Constitution shows his belief in religious equality – particularly in services provided by the State.

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