The Workers’ Party have called on the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, as well returning officers, to ensure that religious schools are not selected as polling stations for the upcoming referendum, given the history of Church influence over the issue in Ireland.
Workers’ Party representative for Lucan/Palmerstown David Gardiner said “The vast majority of schools in Ireland are run with a Roman Catholic ethos, and as such religious symbolism is not an uncommon sight in the average Irish school.“
“Due to the nature of the upcoming referendum on the eighth amendment, the religious symbols and ethos that voters are met with in schools that are run by the Church could undermine the necessity for an independent and non-biased referendum.
“The church has played and continues to play a significant – and problematic – role in Irish society. Considering the church is urging a no vote in the upcoming referendum, not to mention their long-standing history of neglect and abuse to the Irish people, this is wholly inappropriate. The symbols of the Church in many schools may well influence voters towards the Church’s position.”
“There are plenty of places all around the country which could be used come polling day, such as community centres, libraries or parts of Garda stations, and as part of moving forward towards a secular republic, The Workers’ Party believes that this should be the case.”