Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Department of Education and Skills
505. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of schools who are under the patronage of the Catholic Church, including schools under the patronage of dioceses, religious orders or other bodies within the Church that have been vacated and offered for divestment to her Department, but have yet to be handed over to other patron bodies; the location of each of these schools and the date from which her Department was made aware that these schools would be available for divestment; the reason for any delay by her Department in completing the divestment process in relation to these schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41598/15]
My Department is considering the offer of a number of school buildings by the Catholic church under the patronage divesting process. As the matter is the subject of ongoing discussions, I am not in a position to provide any further details at this time. However, I can assure the Deputy that every effort is being made by my Department to expedite the discussions to a successful conclusion. In addition, I recently met with the Catholic Bishops in order to reinvigorate the patronage divesting process in an effort to achieve greater diversity of school provision.