Catholic Church and Catholic Schools in Northern Ireland: The Price of Faith

Author Michael McGrath
Condition Very Good
Cover Type Hardback

The Catholic Church and Catholic Schools in Northern Ireland examines three major themes of Catholic education in Northern Ireland. The author analyzes the Catholic authorities’ efforts to maintain clerical control of Catholic schools in Northern Ireland from 1921 to the Education (Northern Ireland) Order of October 1993, concentrating upon the events surrounding the major education laws of 1923, 1925, 1930, 1947 and 1968 and the Orders in Council of 1989 and 1993. He also assesses the impact of the ‘Gaelic’ features of Catholic schools upon education policy, to determine whether national issues influenced the decisions of either the Catholic authorities or the devolved government. The book will demonstrate that, while these topics were central for some nationalists and unionists, they were minor issues for the senior Catholic clergy and the education officials of the devolved government. It then studies the Catholic authorities’ response to the success of the campaign in recent decades for integrated schools, educating Catholic and Protestant children in ‘shared schools’. It also explains the reasons for dwindling Unionist and Protestant enthusiasm for integrated schools. The author shows how the Catholic authorities’ fear of the education committees created by the 1923 Act primarily explains their refusal to transfer control to the education committees. He also estimates the financial and educational price paid by Northern Ireland’s Catholics to maintain a network of autonomous denominational schools, showing that the advent of mass secondary education after the Second World War led to a major contrast in the opportunities available to Catholic and Protestant children.