Dublin schools were once run by the Roman Catholic Church, but as the Catholic Church fell out of power and secularisation swept the country, the government has been forced to hand over a majority of its schools to the State.
In a move that has angered some Catholic voters, the Government has announced a pilot scheme that will see the Government give every primary and secondary school in the country a new contract to run it for the next four years.
Under the deal, which is to be presented to the Irish Education Minister, all primary and secondaries will be handed over to the Department of Education.
The schools will then be handed back to local authorities for their maintenance and improvements, with all the proceeds from the sale of the schools going back into the community.
It is understood that the Government is also considering putting in place a new scheme to provide free school meals for all school children in Dublin schools, to be run by a group of local organisations.
The schools, which were run by Catholic bishops until about the 20th century, are currently managed by the State Department.
A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman said that in order to maintain the services that were available to the people of Dublin, the Department was working with local authorities to make sure that the schools remained a vital resource for the local community.
He said that this will be reflected in the decision to ensure that schools are not handed back, or are re-established as State funded.
“The State has been responsible for these schools for the past 150 years, and they have always been maintained by the Department for the People.
The Department will continue to operate these schools to ensure they are maintained as State schools.”