IRELAND Teachers would prefer not to be obliged to teach religious instruction and education, according to a survey conducted by their union, the Irish National Teachers' Organisation.
Most of the country's 3,203 primary schools are owned by the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. Teachers employed there teach RE as a matter of course. Most do so willingly but the survey shows that in an increasingly secular society attitudes are changing.
When asked about their choice of school ethos, 48.5 per cent said they would prefer a multi-denominational ethos; 43.5 per cent said they would prefer a denominational ethos and the remainder said they would prefer a non-denominational ethos.
Of those who responded, 58.6 per cent said that primary teachers should not be obliged to teach religious instructioneducation while 41.3 per cent said they should.
There are 14 multi-denominational primaries in the country.