Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Nick Ross talks rubbish on Catholic schools

I REFER to the recent, ill-informed remarks on Catholic education by Nick Ross. Mr Ross has a responsibility as a TV presenter and should know better.

Of course, there are many who want to rewrite history and shift the blame for the past in the direction of Catholic schools.

Not only did Catholic education not contribute to the Troubles; they played a highly significant role in minimising the number of young Catholics who got caught up in violence.

Not only did they teach the 10 Commandments (especially 'Thou Shall Not Kill'), but, through their everyday contract with the children, they created opportunity after opportunity for those in their care to reach out to other children from different faiths.

And they did it while the bombs and bullets were raining down on their communities. That is not being substantially responsible for the Troubles – far from it.

Perhaps Mr Ross should talk to the people he now accuses of being part of the problem.

Ask them about the days they brought their classes through bombed-out streets to visit churches of other denominations.

Find out about the intimidation they suffered when they dared to engage in road-safety activities which involved contact with the police.

Let them tell their story about how it was and what they did to ensure that the children under their guidance left school with a well-informed view of others.

JOHN DALLAT (SDLP)

MLA for East Londonderry

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