The Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Dr William Lee, has welcomed a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that crucifixes are acceptable in State school classrooms and that they do not violate the rights of atheist and non-Christian students.

The Strasbourg ruling, which is binding on all 47 members of the Council of Europe including Ireland, brings to an end a ten-year legal battle that had repercussions in this country where, in many cases, Christian emblems were removed from public places.