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4.3.3 Article 44.2.2 of the Constitution

Article 44.2.2 “The State guarantees not to endow any religion.


  1. Webster defines ENDOW to mean “to furnish with an income; especially : to make a grant of money providing for the continuing support or maintenance of <endow a hospital>”
  2. The state cannot financially support any religion. The state cannot create its own religion (like the Church of England) – nor can it financially support any other religion.
  3. It was envisaged that religious indoctrination in National Schools would be carried out by clergy of the separate religions – not by teachers paid by the State.
  4. The State presently pays teachers in National Schools to teach religious indoctrination – this is in breach of article 44.2.2.
  5. Where there was large scale financial input into National Schools (if there ever was) by religious denominations, it could be argued that such financial contributions were offsetting the costs of teachers giving religious indoctrination.
  6. For many years the local church made a financial contribution to the National School under its management – this may have contributed towards payment for the teachers (salaried by the State) in their work in giving religious indoctrination. This “local contribution” has been discontinued in recent years.
  7. The National Schools are now totally funded by the State (with the addition of “voluntary contributions” from parents) – there is no longer any church funding.
  8. The National Schools are now using part of their capitation grant to support the Catholic Church’s control of the schools. From Catholic Primary Schools Managers Association website “The Department of Education and Skills has confirmed that when a board of management decides to make a payment to CPSMA, it is legitimate to do so from the capitation grant.” Annual payment varies from €300 to €900 per annum. This is in breach article 44.2.2.
  9. A core principle of National education is that religious indoctrination should not be incorporated in the teaching of secular and moral education given by the State-employed teacher. It is important that religious indoctrination be kept separate from the secular educational curriculum.
  10. A “Catholics First” admissions policy in a National School is not allowed under Article 44.2.2 of the Constitution.
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