Two primary schools in north Dublin have warned parents that religious holidays like Christmas, Easter and St. Patrick’s Day may no longer be marked in some Catholic schools.

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It comes as one of eight Catholic primary schools in the Portmarnock-Malahide-Kinsealy area is to transfer to a non-denominational model.

Read More: 481,000 Irish have “no religion” as Catholic numbers dive

The approach is part of Ireland’s Department of Education initiative to reduce the dominance of the Catholic Church in primary education and provide greater diversity in school choice to reflect societal changes.

Scoil an Duinnínigh told parents that common Irish-medium greetings that refer to God, such as “dia dhuit,” would no longer be allowed. Image: Google Maps

Scoil an Duinnínigh told parents that common Irish-medium greetings that refer to God, such as “dia dhuit,” would no longer be allowed. Image: Google Maps

However, other Catholic schools in the area are spearheading the opposition to the proposed changes.

Two, in particular, Scoil an Duinnínigh and St Marnock’s NS, have written to parents claiming that Christmas, Easter and St Patrick's Day would no longer be marked if there is a change of patronage.

One of the schools also told parents that a large number of teachers would consider leaving if there was a change in patronage, according to the Irish Independent.

Scoil an Duinnínigh, a Gaelscoil (Irish-speaking school), also told parents that common Irish-medium greetings that refer to God, such as “Dia dhuit,” would no longer be allowed. “Dia dhuit” is Irish for “hello” but literally reads, “God to you.”

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It advised playing, singing or dancing to music with any religious reference, including the St Patrick’s Day “anthem,” would not be permitted.

Two primary schools in north Dublin have warned parents that religious holidays like Christmas, Easter and St. Patrick’s Day may no longer be marked in some Catholic schools. Image: Getty

Two primary schools in north Dublin have warned parents that religious holidays like Christmas, Easter and St. Patrick’s Day may no longer be marked in some Catholic schools. Image: Getty

Parents are set to be asked to vote on whether or not they want their child's school to change from a religious ethos or not.

In a statement, Educate Together, the patron body of equality-based primary and second-level schools in Ireland said students at their schools are "exposed to different beliefs and perspectives in a respectful way that encourages critical thinking".

Read More: In a major change to Irish education, secondary school students no longer "have to" study religion

"Christmas is, of course, marked in Educate Together schools nationwide; just as our schools endeavor mark Diwali, Eid, Vaisakhi and other religious festivals throughout the school term," they added.

CEO of Educate Together Paul Rowe says their model celebrates the identity of all students.

"Educate Together schools are based on an equality principle in which the identity of all children are guaranteed equal respect," he said.

"That means the schools mark all kinds of celebrations, religious and non-religious cultural events in an appropriate way."

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