Amnesty International is not banned from any primary schools in the Waterford district – despite a letter being circulated that appears to claim otherwise, the Catholic Church diocese of Waterford and Lismore has insisted today.
A letter circulated to the primary schools from a diocesan advisor, Catechetics Director, Sr Antoinette Dilworth, stated that primary schools are “coming under increasing pressure to ban Amnesty International from addressing their pupils, given the organisation's support for the liberation [sic] of Ireland's abortion laws”.
The letter – which was sent out to approximately 99 schools under the patron of the Bishop of Waterford, at the start of the last term but is only being publicly revealed today – also stated that “any group campaigning for the legalisation of abortion, which is completely contrary to the Catholic ethos, does not have the right to visit a school and attempt to gain support for their cause".
However, the Catechetics Director, Sr Antoinette Dilworth today insisted that the letter was merely “just to alert schools” of their responsibilities and that the human rights group is not banned from schools in the diocese. The clarification has been welcomed by Amnesty International.