Teacher brings High Court challenge against transfer from county school

A Co Galway-based secondary school teacher has launched a High Court challenge against her proposed transfer from the school she has taught at for 17 years to another school.

The action has been brought by Dympna Mannion against Galway Roscommon Education Training Board’s decision to redeploy her from St Killian’s College, Ballinasloe to Merlin College in Galway City.

The court heard Ms Mannion believes she is being “forced out” of St Killians. At the High Court, Dermot Sheehan Bl for Ms Mannion, a business studies teacher, said his client was informed of the proposed transfer by St Killian’s principal Mr Padraig Kelly approximately 10 minutes before the end of the school year on June 2nd last.

She claims she was told she was being transferred because there was surplus of business studies teachers. Ms Mannion was shocked and broke down in tears after being informed by the decision to transfer her.

It is not clear why she was selected, counsel said.She asked Mr Kelly why she has been targeted. However he denied that she was targeted.

She was also informed that she was selected because the other business teachers at the school had more service and more seniority. She says that there should have been an attempt by the ETB to seek a voluntary transfer and the policy should have been last in first out.

She claims there are nine more junior teachers at the school who she says were not considered for redeployment and no request for volunteers for any proposed transfer was made. Notice of any proposed transfer should have given earlier than it was, she also argues.

In a sworn statement to the court she said that in her case that sections of Redeployment Scheme, contained in the 1998 Education Act ETB concerning the transfer of teachers was not followed.The fact she was not consulted and was notified of the transfer just before the end of the school year “humiliated me,” was “high handed” and “unfair.”

She made an industrial relations complaint to Glaway Rocommon ETB’s Human Resource’s Department about the proposed transfer. However that was not successful.

In her action Ms Mannion of Headford Road, Galway, seeks an order quashing the ETB’s decision to transfer her. She also seeks a declaration that the decision to transfer her was in breach of redeployment procedures contained in the 1998 Education Act. Permission to bring the challenge was granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan.

The matter was adjourned to a date in August.



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