Council for Education of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

This council comes under the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education and Formation

Contact details

Columba Centre
Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Tel: +353 (0)1 505 3014
Email: [email protected]



The Council reports to the Bishops’ Conference through the Department of Catholic Education and Formation.

Episcopal members of the Council:

Bishop Thomas Deenihan (Chairman)
Archbishop Francis Duffy
Bishop Donal McKeown

Executive Secretary
Mr Alan Hynes
Council for Education of the IEC,
Columba Centre, Maynooth, Co Kildare
Tel +353-1-5053014
Email [email protected]



The Council for Education articulates policy and vision for Catholic Education in Ireland, North and South, on behalf of the Episcopal Conference. It has responsibility for the forward planning necessary to ensure the best provision for Catholic Education in the country. It liaises with other Catholic Education Offices, the Department of Education & Skills, the Department of Education, Northern Ireland. The Council advises the Conference on all Government Legislation as applied to education. It responds and acts as spokesperson for the Conference on issues related to the work of Education. It seeks also to develop long-term strategies in education for the Episcopal Conference.

The Northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education has specific responsibility for Catholic Education in Northern Ireland and was set up as an ad hoc body in relation to developments in the jurisdiction

The Council provides services to:

  • The Bishops’ Conference
  • Dioceses
  • Catholic Primary and Secondary Schools

The Irish Episcopal Conference is represented on the following groups:

  • Catholic Primary School Management Association
  • Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools
  • Catholic Education – an Irish Schools Trust
  • Association of Trustees for Catholic Schools

The Council relates directly with the Department of Education and Science on matters related to Catholic education. The Council is also party to representative groups of Catholic education in their engagement with the Department of Education and Science.

The Council for Education, in its role of articulating policy and vision for Catholic Education in Ireland in relation to Bishops’ mandate in the Church and holding responsibility for forward planning, also relates with the other stakeholders in education e.g. unions, parents’ groups, other management groups, trustees and patrons.

The five-year plan for the Education Council incorporates the following:

  • Establishment of a Catholic Education Service
  • Articulation of a vision for Catholic Schools and achievement of buy-in for the vision
  • Development of a plan for Catholic primary school provision into the future
  • Achievement of a clear and coherent rationale for denominational education and its contribution to education provision in the country
  • Establishment of clear lines of communication with all the stakeholders in education.
  • Development of an All Ireland approach to (plan for) Catholic education while recognising the diversity represented in the two jurisdictions
  • Secure adequate funding to support Catholic education

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