O’Dowd under fire from SF Councillors

Clintyclay PS in Clonmore
Clintyclay PS in Clonmore

Education Minister John O’Dowd has come under fire for planning an appeal against a High Court ruling to quash his decision to close a local primary school.

The High Court judge ruled that the minister’s approval for a bid by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) to close Clintyclay Primary School was “infected” by incorrect information that the school had financial problems.

Clintyclay Primary School, located close to Dungannon, was the first Catholic school to try to transform to integrated in bid to prevent its closure.

The judge ruled that Minister O’Dowd should retake the decision, but it has now emerged that he plans to appeal the ruling.

The news has been met with dismay by campaigners for Clintyclay, who had been bolstered by the judgment and believed that the school would remain open this September.

A Sinn Fein councillor has also joined in the criticism of Minister O’Dowd.

Councillor Dominic Molloy said he wanted to make it public knowledge that he and his eight Sinn Féin colleagues in South Tyrone, who have all provided letters of support, stand fully behind the efforts to keep the school open.