Onwards and upwards says school principal

IT is time to put the past behind and move forward according to Kilkenny City Vocational School principal, Cathy McSorley who last week won her High Court action against the decision of the Minister for Education to remove her from office.

IT is time to put the past behind and move forward according to Kilkenny City Vocational School principal, Cathy McSorley who last week won her High Court action against the decision of the Minister for Education to remove her from office.

She said the High Court judge who heard her successful case had made it clear that it was time to draw a line in the sand and move on. “I have to say I have been heartened by the support from the school parents, board of management and the VEC in running the school,” she said. She has big plans for the school and she added: “It’s onwards and upwards from here.”

However, County Kilkenny VEC is to seek legal advice on whether or not it can publish the report on Ms McSorley which prompted the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn and the VEC to fire her.

The High Court last week decided that the decision to remove her from her job was too harsh a sanction to place on her even though it accepted the contents of the report undertaken by Mr Torlach O’Connor. In his judgement Mr Justice John Hedigan said that the effect of the disciplinary action was disproportionate and justified the court setting aside the decision. He was impressed by the way Ms McSorley had tried to bring in reform to a school where there had been problems before she went there.

And it has now been revealed that the cost of the Department of Education enquiry into her tenure at the school totals E327,000.

An order for costs in the High Court action has not been made.

The case is due back before the High Court on Friday, May 11 as Mr Justice Hedigan has asked for submissions from Counsel for the Applicant (Ms McSorley) and the Respondents (the Minister and Co Kilkenny VEC) as to the precise nature of his Order.

The Minister for Education is considering appealing the decision. The full text of the High Court decision is on www.kilkennypeople.ie