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European Commission apologises after it issues a school diary devoid of Christian holidays

Diary received by Irish transition year students makes no mention of Easter or Christmas. The EU Commission says the error was “a mistake, not a policy”.

Diary issued by the EU made no mention of Christmas or Easter
Diary issued by the EU made no mention of Christmas or Easter

THE EU COMMISSION has held its hands up after three million diaries sent to secondary schools around Europe failed to mention Christmas or Easter.

The 2010/2011 edition of the Europa Diary noted Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Chinese festivals, but made no reference to major Christian holidays or festivals.

The Telegraph reports that it was an Irish priest who brought the matter to the attention of the EU Ombudsman. The Europa Diary is provided free of charge to transition year students in Ireland, and there is an Irish version of the book.

There had been demands for the entire run of the 2010/2011 edition of the diary to be recalled, but EU Ombudsman P Nikiforos Diamandouros says that an apology is enough. In a statement, the Commission says that the error was “a mistake, not a policy”, and that actions have been taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

A memo – like this one sent to Irish teachers – was sent out to schools who had requested the diary. The memo states that the knowledge of festivals like Christmas and Easter had been taken for granted. It includes an additional page to be distributed to students outlining the main public holidays celebrated in their respective countries.

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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