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Sunday 22 October 2017

School rejects minister's claim that land sold

Clonkeen College. Photo: Arthur Carron
Clonkeen College. Photo: Arthur Carron

Alan O'Keeffe

A school principal has disputed a statement by the Education Minister that the sale of sports land at Clonkeen College in Dublin is completed.

Principal Edward Melly said legal moves by members of the board of management are preventing the completion of the sale by the Christian Brothers.

The religious order declared it sold 6.5 acres of the lands, and an adjoining one-acre site, to a developer to pay €10m to the State Redress Scheme, which compensates abuse victims.

The overall land deal at Deansgrange is believed to be worth €18m. The school's board of management, teaching staff, and parents have expressed opposition to the land sale.

Mr Melly said Education Minister Richard Bruton was wrong to declare that the land sale was completed.

The minister's Dáil statement declared the religious order had confirmed "the lands have been sold, that it has signed and exchanged legally binding contracts with the purchasers and that the congregation cannot reverse this transaction".

A college board member said the school's legal challenge had since been registered with the High Court. Its legal team was instructed to issue a plenary summons and register a Lis Pendens (in litigation) to block the sale.

"Therefore, we reject statements that the land sale has been completed," Mr Melly said.

He said present and future generations needed this land for their health and physical development.

The religious order previously stated it was transferring ownership of 3.4 acres of current lands to the school to bring the total area of the school's property to 6.5 acres. It was gifting €1.3m to the school to develop its facilities.

A spokesman for the Christian Brothers said: "It would be inappropriate to comment as this matter is now the subject of legal proceedings."

Irish Independent

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