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Legal challenge on decision not to close schools in North
Michelle O'Neill of Sinn Fein Pic: RollingNews.ie

16 Mar 2020 / education Print

Legal challenge to decision not to close schools in North

The parent of a Co Armagh school child has begun a legal challenge about the decision not to close schools in the North.

The mother wants the schools to close because her child has severe health problems which place her at risk if she contracts coronavirus.

Judicial review

An emergency judicial review has been sought and a case begun against the North’s ministers for health and education, the Education Authority and the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools.

"It is our client's case that the current position is unlawful and contrary to the necessary protections afforded to all citizens under the human rights act," said her solicitor Darragh Mackin.

"It is clear that the respective public bodies have each failed in their respective obligations to our client, and indeed all children, by continuing to require their attendance at school in circumstances in which they would be at an increased risk of contracting the condition.


"There is no time for any further delay. The necessary policies and decisions all need to be taken in a manner that recognises the real and immediate risk."

Both Sinn Féin leader Michelle O'Neill and the SDLP have said schools should close immediately.

However, First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster says the decision should be based on medical advice.


The Assembly will meet this morning to discuss the escalating crisis, as the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 reaches 45 in the North.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland