For nearly 200 years attempts have been made in Ireland to have Catholic and Protestant children educated together.
In 1831 Ireland became the first country in the English-speaking world to have a state-funded nationwide system of schools, the National schools. It was intended that the schools would be attended by both Catholic and Protestant children, with a separate time set aside for religious instruction according to the denomination of the pupils. However, by 1860, under pressure from the Churches, the system had become entirely denominational, with the schools run by the different Churches.
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