First New protestant primary school in the Republic

New primary school in Meath. There have always been protestant secondary schools in the Republic: some of them among the top performing schools in the country. But it does seem surprising it’s taken 80 years to open a single primary school. Are demographics shifting back in favour of southern protestants? Or is the kind of educational diversity represented by the Gaelscoil movement just catching on? More detail.

  • kenno

    It’s a long time ago now, but as I recall I went to a protestant primary school in Dublin as did quite a few of my friends.

    If you read the piece you link to it does say NEW rather then FIRST. “better late than never”? What is that meant to mean? You can only open a protestant primary school when you’ve got enough protestants to fill it!

    I think this is inventing a story where not much of one actually exists, but then bloggers are the poor man’s journalists (or should that be just poor journalists). . .

  • lib2016

    “better late than never”

    Maybe I’ve misunderstood but I thought that unionists currently blamed the Northern Catholic’s wish to control their children’s education for a lot of the present troubles.

  • Richard Dowling

    As far as I know there has been a Church of Ireland primary
    school here in Mountrath for many a long year. And a good one
    at that.

  • Stephen Copeland


    Your header is complete b*ll*cks … there are dozens (a hundred, two hundred … ?) of Protestant Primary schools in the south, as there have been for generations.

    I presume you mean the first new Prod school for a while? Theres a big difference.

    I’d be surprised if anyone would bother opening a new specifically Prod school, since a lot of Prods opt for the ‘educate together’ multi-denominational schools. I would see a new single-religion school as a step backwards, not forwards.

  • Pat Lawlor

    There is a Protestant primary school in our town in the Republic since at least pre 1940 and for the last 10 years both religions are attending it.

  • maca

    In defence of Mick the Breaking News headline reads: “First ever Irish Protestant primary school opens in Meath”

  • joey

    What to hell is this thread about if there are loads of protestant primary schools in the Republic ?

    Perhaps a thread on the on going investigation into the murder of Lisa Dorrian or the continued loyalist violence

  • peteb


    It’s a misleading headline on the breakingnews site.. but I think the full story may be –

  • peteb

    Just to add. Arguably Mick’s point still remains.. “Are demographics shifting back in favour of southern protestants?”

    Although, personally, I’d rather have fewer schools [or even better none at all] identified by religion.

  • maca

    “Are demographics shifting back in favour of southern protestants?”

    Hasn’t this been happening for a number of years, the catholic population decreasing slightly and the protestant population rising slightly?

    Of course it’s all changing now anyway. Ireland’s population hit 4.13 million in April, the highest point since 1861, most of the reason is immigrants so there’s a good mix of religions coming in to the country.

  • Dave

    This is such a non-story.

    There are numerous protestant primary and secondary schools throughout the 26 counties – it is even the case that the legislation whereby the State funds teachers salaries for private schools was specifically introduced to support Protestant Schools. There are many schools ie Grammar School Dundalk which have a Protestant ethos but which are attended by an overwhelming catholic majority whose parents feel such an ethos and education is benificial.

  • Alan Anderson


    Maybe the quality of research should be subject to review most major towns have Protestant primary schools even “el paso” Dundalk(population is over 90% RC- similar pop stats of Larne and Carrickfergus) has Dun Dealgan Prebyterian primary.

    Suggest you re-word this article as its the kind of “propaganda” that has unionists thinking the south is a sectarian state.

  • dundalkmawn

    I attented Dundalk Grammar School. It was a protestant school, but more akin to intergrated education, a system that in the south appears to be a bastion of the protestant schools. Hmmm…

  • Mick Fealty

    Right. Caught on. I rescind. Give me a break? Too tired. Not watching the road. End of.

  • Mick Fealty

    And there’s me complaining about the quality of the comments. Genuine apologies. It was a slip in concentration. It happens.

    But if raises a new topic and it draws Alan back out of self imposed retirement, that’s got to be good!

  • Alan2

    “first new Church of Ireland school”

    Heck, are there actually any Church of Ireland schhools in NI? People refer to “Protestant” schools are usuually refering to state non-denominational schools rather than a genuine “Protestant school”.

  • Biffo

    What? There aren’t any protestant schools in Northern Ireland?!!!

    It’s Martin McGuiness’s fault – he ignored the key stage 3 results and used the funding to give the catholics kids the free school dinners.

    I’m away out to set up a road block.

  • looking in

    …kind of educational diversity…

    I wonder is this what is needed, is it right that we should acknowledge further sectarianism in education. Irrespective of country, it seems to be a common basis for the next generations growning up, at best ignorant of their fellow citizens, and at worst a fertile ground for further division.

    May I wish the proverbial plague of locusts on ALL schools who view religion as a basis for selection farless education

  • darthrumsfeld

    There are a very few protestant schools in NI- Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Primary School being one that springs to mind, where children receive a Bible-based curiculim- very different from the state system.

  • peteb

    The Irish Times editorialises on the new C of I school here

    In a week that has seen ordained men elsewhere on this island fail to condemn or dissociate themselves from sectarian violence, we should be grateful that diverse elements in this society rub along well and are prospering.

  • foreign correspondent

    There is also a news article in the Irish Times about the new school. If, like me, you are not a subscriber, it is available free to view here:

  • Mick


    “It’s Martin McGuiness’s fault”

    It’s James Craig’s fault. As I recall, he campaigned long and hard against a powerful church lobby to keep CoI Bishops off the board of managment at Stranmillis College to help preserve the secular nature of NI schools.

  • Seven Towers

    Why has it taken so many years for a new Protestant school to be built in the Republic? Because it is a poxy priest-ridden (no pun meant) country. The papists get plenty of new schools in Northern Ireland. Which proves there is no discrimination in Northern Ireland but plenty in the Republic.

  • Dualta

    I read somewhere that the numbers of Protestants in the Republic has increased significantly as a result of immigration. I believe that last census provided the data for this.