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Supreme Court dismisses Traveller school admission appeal

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 24/02/2015. Supreme Court dismisses Traveller school admission appealTags: Education And Politics

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal in a case brought against The Christian Brothers High School, Clonmel, Tipperary back in 2010 by a family who believed the school had indirectly discriminated against their son on the grounds that he was a traveller.

According to a breaking news report on RTE this afternoon, The boy’s mother, Mary Stokes, had argued that the boy was refused admission to the school because of school policy that gave preference of admission for past pupils, and this discriminated indirectly against Traveller children.

According to the report, The Equality Tribunal had previously found that the school had indirectly discriminated against Travellers because of their past pupil policy. However, this was rejected by the Circuit Court and High Court back in 2011.

“The court ruled that insufficient evidence had been put before previous hearings at the Equality Tribunal and at the Circuit Court. It found it was therefore not possible to carry out a proper analysis.”

RTE reports that two of the five Supreme Court judges took a different view; that equality legislation meant that no appeal to the Supreme Court was allowed.

The wider issue of school admission is currently under review by the Department of Education to address concerns that some schools may be using admission policies to cherry-pick students. A bill on the matter is due to be published before Easter.


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