5th December 2007
Statement on Education from the Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland
The Catholic Bishops welcome the already overdue Ministerial statement which attempts to clarify the huge uncertainty which has faced both parents and schools in regard to transfer from primary to post-primary schools.
Much, however, remains to be clarified by the Minister and her Department. There is an urgent need for clear details as to how pupils will transfer both at 11 and at 14. If this clarity is not given, the uncertainty remains.
The Bishops, together with the Religious Trustees, will work to promote a consistent approach by all Catholic post-primary schools in the future arrangements for the transfer of pupils at 11 to the post primary school and at the subsequent transfer at 14.
Statement on Recent Violence in Northern Ireland
Speaking after the first meeting of the Northern Bishops since his elevation to the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Seán Brady urged people to unite in rejecting the activity of those who resort to violence for political ends in Northern Ireland.
The Cardinal said: ‘Recent attacks on members of the PSNI are a direct attack on to the right to life and the freedom of all to play their part in the new, agreed institutions of Northern Ireland. Such activity should be condemned by all those who have the good of our society at heart.’
Calling on people to demonstrate their support for the PSNI, the Ambulance Service, the Fire Service and all those who provide essential services to the community, the Cardinal went on to say: ‘The Police and those who provide essential emergency services deserve the support of the whole community and attacks against them are attacks against us all. I appeal to anyone who has information about such attacks, whether they are on police officers, ambulance drivers, fire service or medical personnel, to bring it to the police.’
Cardinal Brady concluded by offering the prayerful support and good wishes of all the Northern Bishops to the two PSNI officers shot and injured recently in Derry and Dungannon and to their families.
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Kathy Tynan Communications Officer (086 817 5674)