Supreme Court hears argument over Traveller’s right to attend local school

THE SUPREME COURT has begun hearing an appeal into whether a teenage Traveller was discriminated against after he was refused admission to his local secondary school.

Five judges of the Supreme Court heard legal arguments this morning over the case, which was taken by the boy’s mother after the Christian Brothers’ High School in Clonmel turned down his application for admission in 2010.

Mary Stokes lodged a complaint over the school’s policy of giving priority to students whose fathers were past pupils of the school which she said discriminated against her son, John. Mary Stokes argued that the policy was discriminatory and disproportionately affected Travellers as they are statistically less likely to have a father who attended secondary school.

Only 10 per cent of Traveller men of John’s father’s generation progressed to second level education, according to figures from the Irish Traveller Movement.

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