Geaney & Ors -v- Pobalscoil Chorca Duibhne & Ors, [2009] IEHC 267 (2009)

Docket Number:2008 3758 P
Party Name:Geaney & Ors, Pobalscoil Chorca Duibhne & Ors
Judge:Laffoy J.
 
FREE EXCERPT

THE HIGH COURT2008 3758 P

ETWEEN

THOMAS GEANEY & ORS.PLAINTIFFSAND

THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT OF POBALSCOIL CHORCA DHUIBHNE,CONSOLATA BRACKEN, VIVIENNE DUNNE AND BARNEY O'REILLY IN THEIR CAPACITY AS TRUSTEES AND JOINT PATRON OF POBALSCOIL CHORCA DHUIBNE AND THE MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND SCIENCE, IRELAND AND THE ATTORNEY GENERALDEFENDANTSJudgment of Miss Justice Laffoy delivered on the 27th day of April, 2009

The application

The background to this application for particulars on behalf of the first to fourth defendants, on foot of a notice of motion dated 19th December, 2008, is as follows:

• The first plaintiff is the father of the seventh plaintiff. The second to twelfth plaintiffs are all minors who sue by a next friend. They are pupils at Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne (Pobalscoil). As is clear from the title to the proceedings the first defendant is the Board of Management of Pobalscoil and the second to fourth defendants are sued in their capacity as Trustees and Joint Patron of Pobalscoil. As pleaded in the plaintiffs' statement of claim delivered on 17th July, 2008, Pobalscoil was created by the amalgamation of two existing voluntary second level schools in Dingle, the Presentation Secondary School for Girls and the Christian Brothers' Secondary School for Boys. Pobalscoil commenced providing educational services at second level in September 2007. The statement of claim is a very comprehensive document running to 33 pages, which contains 85 paragraphs and in the prayer for relief seeks no less than 30 remedies, the first being a declaration that the defendants have failed to provide a comprehensive system of post-primary education open to all children of the community at Pobalscoil. In their written submissions on this application the plaintiffs' counsel summarised the grounds on which the plaintiffs allege that their rights have been breached as follows: "In substance, the minor plaintiffs do not understand the subjects they are taught in the State curriculum in Pobalscoil …. Further, the teaching of the entire curriculum exclusively or predominantly through the medium of Irish has undermined the minor plaintiffs' course of education. It has also departed from the manner in which they were taught in both national school and in the former boys' and girls' secondary schools in Dingle prior to the establishment of Pobalscoil with effect from the start of the school year September 2007."• The first to fourth defendants served a notice for particulars on the plaintiffs on 3rd September, 2008. The plaintiffs furnished replies on 24th October, 2008 and ascribed the delay to the time taken to having the notice for particulars translated from Irish to English. It was stated on behalf of the plaintiffs therein that the replies were being delivered without prejudice to the plaintiffs' contention that the particulars raised, containing some 390 queries, were oppressive and prolix and that the trial Judge would be asked in due course to take that fact into account in exercising his discretion on the matter of costs. While I have not analysed the replies in depth, they certainly appear...

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