Please see the below answers which we received today from Cian Prendiville who’s standing in Limerick City for the Socialist Party/United Left Alliance.
* Do you favour a secular education system fully under state control?
Yes. The state cannot outsource it’s responsibility to education children. I think there have been enough examples that prove the need for public control over public education, and I believe that this should be fully democratic, with the schools run by elected representatives of staff, parents, the community and in the case of secondary schools, students.
* Do you believe blasphemy should be a crime?
No. It is an outrage.
* Do you favour removing the constitutional requirement that judges and the President swear a religious oath upon entering office?
Yes. I believe people of all religions and none should be equally able to take up public office.
* In light of the recent ECHR ruling, do you favour the introduction of legislation to regulate abortion?
Yes. There is no nice way out of a crisis pregnancy. No one is ‘pro-abortion ‘ as the religious right claim. In my view there is abortion for people in Ireland already, you just have the extra expense and stress of having to travel. I believe we should support and facilitate the decisions of women in crisis pregnancies.
* Do you favour the removal of funding for religious chaplains in state funded institutions?
Yes, I don’t believe the state should subsidise any church. The idea of non-denominational centres, for instance in hospitals, for people of all religion or none to go to relax and contemplate however is something I would support.