Tipperary school brought to supreme court

The Christian Brother secondary school in Clonmel has recently been summoned to a supreme court hearing regarding their admission policies of the school.

The school holds a policy of granting admissions to those who are the sons of past pupils, this policy is put into effect regarding the number of submissions to the school.

The policy was brought into dispute when Tipperary local John Stokes applied to attend the secondary school in 2010. John was rejected because of the policy. On receiving the rejection his mother Mary lodged a complaint on his behalf stating that “the rejection is discriminating against members of the traveller community as they are less likely to have had fathers who have attended the school”.

The case has already come before the circuit court, high court and equality tribunals. The equality tribunal ruled in favour of Mr. Stokes while it was appealed by the high court which found that while the parental rule was indirectly discriminatory against travellers and others who wish to attend the school, it was objectively justified within provisions of the equality legislation.

Mary Stokes has now taken the case to the supreme court in a bid to have the high court rulings set aside. The fives judges who will be hearing the case have decided to go ahead with the hearing. A date has not yet been set.

If the court rules in favour of Stokes, the school is liable to pay compensation and refrom its policies.


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