Monday 21 October 2019

Two teachers launch High Court challenges over decision to redeploy them

Stock photo
Stock photo

Tim Healy

Two secondary school teachers have launched High Court challenges over a decision to redeploy them.

The cases have been brought by Aisling McTiernan and Aimee Costello who have spent over ten years teaching at Meán Scoil Muire Gan Smál, in Roscommon Town.  

They  were earlier this year selected for redeployment under a scheme set out in a Department of Education and Skills Circular after the school was informed last December it had teaching staff in excess of its approved allocation for the academic year 2019/20. 

Ms Costello who teaches Irish, Geography, Civic, Social and Political Education and programming, and  Ms McTiernan, teaches English and History, were both selected for redeployment.

They unsuccessfully appealed on several grounds including that they were not surplus to the school's curricular requirements.

In their High Court actions, they claim that the decision to redeploy them breaches the Department's circular, was contrary to fair procedures, was irrational and unreasonable.

It is also alleged that there was a failure to provide any rationale for conclusions that certain subjects, including Irish, Geography, English and History, were in surplus at the school. 

The school board's decision, they also claim was also irrational and unreasonable on grounds including that there was a failure to give adequate reasons for the decisions they reached.

Both teachers, who live with their families in Roscommon Town, claim that the decision to will cause great upset to their personal lives and circumstances.

The decisions to redeploy should be set aside. 

Permission to bring the action was granted on an ex parte (one side only represented) basis by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan.

The case comes back in July. 

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