Most primary schools are denominational, meaning they come under the patronage of a religious order and the majority of primary schools in Ireland are Roman Catholic. Religion classes will be held in these schools teaching the main ethos of that school.
The school may accept pupils from other religions or non-denominational pupils. These pupils have the right to be excused from religion classes.
Up until 3 October 2018, schools could refuse your child a place in the event of over-subscription, if they were not of the same religious denomination as the school, and they felt it was necessary in order to maintain the ethos of the school.
The enactment of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act, 2018 on 3 October 2018 has changed this and now only schools of minority faiths can do so.
Some schools refer to themselves as interdenominational and these schools come under the patronage or trusteeship of more than one religious faith community. Such a school provides for a variety of religious education opportunities.
Other schools, such as the Educate Together schools, are multi-denominational and will provide ethical education classes instead of religion classes, teaching children about equality, justice, ethics and the various belief systems around the world.