Dec 202009
 

Did you know that in this country, Ireland, it’s perfectly legal for a clergyman to sack a State-funded teacher, nurse, doctor, or even a janitor in a church-controlled school or hospital if they decide that something about the person undermines the religious ethos of the institution?

It could be something as simple as living with another person while unmarried, or having a child outside marriage.  It could be because the teacher, nurse or doctor doesn’t hold approved religious views, or, for example, abandons the Catholic church in protest at the behaviour of the clergy in raping children or covering up that crime.  It could be for writing to a newspaper.

Any of these things could entitle somebody like the discredited Bishop Murray, or any of his colleagues or proxies to sack you, even though your salary and all running costs of the establishment are paid for by the exchequer.

That’s because of an exemption in our employment law, which is worth quoting in full:

37.—(1) A religious, educational or medical institution which is under the direction or control of a body established for religious purposes or whose objectives include the provision of services in an environment which promotes certain religious values shall not be taken to discriminate against a person for the purposes of this Part or Part II if—

(a) it gives more favourable treatment, on the religion ground, to an employee or a prospective employee over that person where it is reasonable to do so in order to maintain the religious ethos of the institution, or

(b) it takes action which is reasonably necessary to prevent an employee or a prospective employee from undermining the religious ethos of the institution.

See that?  Under the direction or control of a body established for religious purposes.  In other words, any church, any religious order, any diocese.

Look at section (b).  …  action which is reasonably necessary to prevent an employee or a prospective employee from undermining the religious ethos of the institution

That means sacking you if they don’t like how you live or what you believe.  It’s what happened to Eileen Flynn.

You might be thinking you have recourse to an appeal system, but you do not.  This is a specific exclusion from the equality act for the benefit of the Catholic church.

You might be thinking that this law comes from the Dark Ages and it will soon be fixed to bring it into line with modern practice.

Think again.  The Minister for Justice who introduced this act was our old friend, John “Expenses” O’Donoghue, and his boss, the Prime Minister of the day was Bertie “Opus Dei” Ahern, the same man who gave €1.3 billion of public money to bail out the clerical child abusers.

They passed it into law in 1999.  Isn’t it amazing how these things go round in circles?

Now.  Think about that for a while.

While you’re thinking, I’ll just remind you that Bertie agreed to give control of our new State-funded €1 billion national children’s hospital to his former employers,  the Sisters of Mercy.

_______________________

More on Catholic clergy

__________________

Employment Equality Act 1998

  27 Responses to “How Bishops in Ireland Can Sack a Teacher, Nurse or Doctor”

Comments (26) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    After returning from Nancy’s where the Gonzos and the divine Jane Frazer were not playing I read this. Is their any end to this torment.

    Nancy’s on Sunday night esential venue for re-charging the soul.

    The law quoted above does not specify the Catholic Church. Does that suggest that a Muslim school could ensure all it’s teachers are Muslim orientated. A pagan school insist people worship trees or whatever.

  2.  

    Yes

  3.  

    Bigotry isn’t just for Norn Iron and if you want to get by you have to toe the line and stick with yer own or at least pretend. It isn’t right and there should always be recourse. While the UK has a state religion it doesn’t get in the way too much but in Ireland religion and politics are so intertwined they might as well be the same, they compete in the who can screw the people the most. Ireland needs a revolution and I think its starting to head that way.

  4.  

    As for Eileen Flynn the Catholic church will take a serial killer as a convert before they would a divorced person.

  5.  

    I think you could be right, Knudsen. People are getting very pissed off and their eyes are starting to open. However, I think religion and politics are fairly intertwined in Norn Iron as well, so that part of the UK needs a bit of sorting out too.

  6.  

    I have a friend who keeps telling me religion will soon be banned. I have to point out to him its going the other way religion is more in control of our lives then ever before.
    This is why blogs like this must never give up exposing these hypocrites
    Getting back to the Post one group they never sack are convicted paedophiles.

  7.  

    It’s been minus 18°C, here. Thanks for boiling my blood, Bock.

  8.  

    I can empathize with the commentator Sean Jeating; doubtless you too BOCK.

    I am fucking just fuming here having read this.

  9.  

    Well it apears the religious tradition is far too engraved in Irish society for us to change so I think the only thing to do is to fight fire with fire. Thus, Ladies and Gentlement, I propose to you the all new and improved Secularist Church, who worship the principle of not worshippping and hold the seperation of state and church to be one of top priorities in their Dogma.
    Anyone wishing for to get their BapDismal cert (which requires a quick drying of the forehead) can apply by email.

  10.  

    Another excellent and very important post, Bock.
    I can only speak about primary teachers, but this is my experience.
    I know for a fact that many teachers have to live a lie to keep their jobs.
    For example, teachers have to go to mass every Sunday, or else pretend that they go.
    Teachers cannot openly “live in sin”, i.e. live with their partner without being married. Well, they can, but they risk the sack if they do (if they’re open about it).
    Female teachers had better nor get pregnant outside marriage.
    Teachers had better not get divorced.
    Teachers must also hide their sexuality if it happens to be other than heterosexual.

    Teachers have to teach religion at 12 noon every day, even if they don’t want to teach it, even if they don’t believe in what they’re teaching.
    The Bishop sends around religion inspectors aka “diocesan advisors” to catholic schools every year, so the teacher’s teaching of religion is examined every, single year.
    Unbelievably, though, teachers are not paid for teaching religion. They have to do it for nothing – or face the sack!
    The idea that teachers must teach religion, but not be paid for it, must be challenged.
    It shows an absolute lack of respect for teachers.

    The church is able to legally discriminate against teachers, in two areas where other workers are protected – their sexual orientation and their religious beliefs.
    The church also gets away with not paying teachers to teach religion.
    This must change.

  11.  

    Looking from my perpective from the frozen forests may I offer asylum to these teachers here in the mountains on the grounds of lack of relegious freedom. There being only one religion whom all are forced to ahere to. This totalitarian system of religion was common here in Sweden around the late 19 century and people rebelled against it by starting their own churches. Priests and police raided houses where people gathered to read the bible. These people were called “läsarna” (readers). The arrival of “Frikyrkor” “free churches” from America hastened the weakining of the Lutheran church. To day there is a whole flora of churches, some very interesting in their interpretation of the bible. There is one church which frowns on window curtains way up in Lappland called” Lastadier”. The main thing is that there is religious freedom and religion is taught in schools, Islam, judedom, Assa tro ( the old vking beleifs) but only as general information so that we can orientate ourselves in the world when meeting people. Schools are strictly secular and there is nothing that would remind you of Ireland in their education. So to my mind you do not have religious freedom in Ireland.

  12.  

    Ironically, Charles, the Catholic church was outlawed here for many, many years during the Penal Laws.
    We, Irish, complained about the lack of religious freedom because we couldn’t be Catholics freely.
    Now, we can’t be anything but Catholics = same result, different tyrants.

  13.  

    Thank you Mairead for a wise observation. The victim became the tyrant.

  14.  

    Animal Farm!

  15.  

    But Charles, all we’ve got from Sweden since is Abba and Henrik Larson, who of course
    scored a lot of goals for Celtic against Rangers, a super trooper he was, and surely the product of a good Catholic upbringing?

  16.  

    Detest fotball and Abba.. Would love to visit Limerick to see a rugby match. I visited Limerick in my wild days having had too much mountain air and collided with a lamp post whilst admiring a beautifull girl who flashed me a smile containing danger and mystery. I saw stars.

  17.  

    To all my fellow writers May I wish you some minutes of peace in these strange and troubled times. Allso I wish to confess that I chopped down my Christmas tree in the forest without asking the owner. I had the assistence of the twins. We have a heavy snow fall ongoing and minus 15 celcius.

  18.  

    We live on a little lump of rock on the edge of the world. Largely one race one religion. Little diversity. Little transience. Nationalism is all. The bad guys / enemy are always outside our borders. Power is easily concentrated in a few hands and kept there. Smart men understand these things and fuck the people. The people dont mind being fucked as long as its by their own.

  19.  

    Mairead – this is your second reference to the “religion at 12 o’clock rule” – is that for real? Also, do you mean that teachers are not paid by the church to teach religion or are they not paid at all? ie – do the hours spent teaching religion get deducted from their salaries?

    Do you know of anyone who is up for taking a test case on this to the European Court? And are my tax euros going to fund hospitals and schools that are allowed to discriminate like this? Is there a form to renege on that portion of my taxes until it is fixed?

  20.  

    Mairead – this is your second reference to the “religion at 12 o’clock rule” – is that for real?
    Yep.
    Some priests come in at 12 noon to check that the teachers are teaching religion.
    Some don’t bother.
    I’ve had two PPs that came in, without warning, to check every few days – keeping us on our toes!

    Also, do you mean that teachers are not paid by the church to teach religion or are they not paid at all? ie – do the hours spent teaching religion get deducted from their salaries?
    Teachers are not paid by anyone for teaching religion.
    Dev “asked” teachers to give up half an hour of their lunch to teach religion instead.
    We’re still doing it. but many don’t want to now.
    The worst cheek is being inspected every year.

    Do you know of anyone who is up for taking a test case on this to the European Court?
    No.
    INTO have been looking at it for a while, but no move as yet.

    And are my tax euros going to fund hospitals and schools that are allowed to discriminate like this?
    Yep, totally.

    Is there a form to renege on that portion of my taxes until it is fixed?
    Nope. The Govt might listen if enough people shout and roar and complain about it??

  21.  

    Ok – I’m going to start writing some letters.

  22.  

    Bock. Why go to university when you can read Bock the Robber. There might be some hope for Ireland if a fair share of the population read Bock. Mairead many thanks for your post which has enlightened me here in the dark north. My distaste for the cunning power of accupation known as The Roman Church increases by the day. You owe it to the generations before you to rid the land once and for all of this parasite. You are an intelligent people so there is no excuse for you to allow your intelligence to be insulted by forces of occupation.

  23.  

    Read with great interest. Wonder how much of the National Education Budget was allocated to the hospitals and were other institutions governed by the church, for instance prisons?
    Was it part of the employment contract of teachers that they would become part time volunteers? How far does this power of the church go?
    Where is democracy? This all begs the question, how was the tax-payers money divided in previous years?
    Were teachers asked to resign if they were married and became pregnant?

  24.  

    Prisons never occurred to me though it would have been appropriate. I suppose the industrial schools were prisons for children, weren’t they? And the laundries.

  25.  

    Hi Lit Fan Jo,
    Was it part of the employment contract of teachers that they would become part time volunteers?
    No, but teachers are expected to abide by the “ethos of the school”, which is where the catch lies.
    I don’t know of any teacher who has refused to teach religion in a catholic school. People could exist, but I have never heard of a single one. The price is scary – future jobs, promotion etc… Also, many children follow their parents into teaching, so the parents have to watch out for that also – sins of the fathers visited upon the sons and all that.

    How far does this power of the church go?
    Further than you’d think.
    Fear is the big controller.

    Were teachers asked to resign if they were married and became pregnant?
    No, but being unmarried (presume this is what you meant) could be very tricky.
    The big case was Eileen Flynn.
    The church is not so stupid any more to openly work against an unmarried mother.
    They do it quietly, behind the scenes, by blocking promotion and movement.
    I know one girl who had a baby, and while she was made to feel very, very uncomfortable and ashamed, she is still in her job.
    One thing that the PP did was – she was teaching the communion class when she became pregnant, but was moved to another class (Junior Infants) once her pregnancy became obvious. Moving teachers mid-year in the primary school is extremely unusual. It sent out a big message to the community that the teacher was not “suitable” to teach the sacrament because she was pregnant.

    Grants to schools weren’t really audited at all until recently, and it still rarely happens. If a PP wished to move money from a school to a hospital (or anywhere else), no-one would really know. I would guess that school monies were often moved into the parish account, because every year or two the parish has a “visitation” from the Bishop, who inspects the parish accounts. So, you could see how a PP might want to balance the books, and the school money was very available to him. They were a law unto themselves. Truth be told, they still are. It is trickier now because Boards now have Treasurers, so IF they do their job properly then monies shouldn’t go astray.

  26.  

    Bock, The ice is closing in on me and movement is difficult. Plouging through blizzards and drifts a daily occurence, Dry cold winds from Barrents Sea hit the marrow in my bones turning it to crystals. But the warming thing is reading and understanding how Ireland works and who makes it work and who benifits from it, all thanks to your blogg and the information there delivered by you and Mairead. I have a deep love for Ireland and with love anger is not far away when one sees how exploited the populace has been to the benifit of an empire in Rome. You once asked what is there to celebrate in 2016 and I have difficulty finding an answer. The blizzards are awaiting me.

Leave a Reply