The character of Religious Education in Ireland is intimately linked to the religious patronage (ownership) of most publicly-funded schools by religious institutions. Approx. 90% of schools are run by the Catholic church. This tradition of religious patronage is increasingly at odds with Ireland’s contemporary multicultural and multireligious society and raises pan-European questions of human rights, especially children’s rights, in the sphere of taxpayer-funded education. This article outlines the education system in Ireland (little-known outside the Republic) and discusses primary and secondary RE as well as current RE teacher education programmes including the innovative ‘Religions and Global Diversity’ undergraduate programme at University College Cork. Progress towards the kind of multi-religious RE recommended by the European Council of Ministers has recently slowed. The Irish government exercises only limited control over what is taught in schools RE, and there are still very few teachers properly qualified to deliver education about religions (plural).