Judicial review of school places allocation

This story probably has a few weeks to run but it should be an interesting one. Lord Chief Justice Brian Kerr has granted leave for a judicial review of the withdrawal of offers of school places to two Londonderry girls by St Cecilia’s College The BBC report notes that “The case is being taken against the Board of Governors, the Western Education and Library Board and the Department of Education.” As the various reports record the key element in the review will be the issue of the granting of school places in Londonderry to children of families living in Donegal.

During a preliminary hearing in mid-week the court was told that some Derry families had moved to Donegal but were using the addresses of grandparents to secure school places, a practice that had become known as “grannying.”

Which isn’t quite in keeping with the area based planning that the Bain report recommended.. however delayed that might be..

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  • confused

    There seems to be something wrong in the North West. An enquiry is needed not only to look at the phenomenon of Granny’s Address but there is evidence of abuse of the national health service and when we are looking at these matters a check of the electoral role would not be amiss.

  • StarHound

    The “something wrong” might be the notion of ‘the border’ as it is seen in this case, by people in Derry.

    The many people who have moved a mile or two down the road into Donegal do not feel that they have left Derry and also do not feel that any issue of different jurisdictions really matters. There will be some who will rush to post about ‘children from abroad’ or whatever but these are children who wewre born in Derry, who socialise in Derry, shop in Derry, have the rest of their family in Derry – the idea of the border as a giant fence simply does not apply.

    Both governments have previously acknowledged the logic of pooling health services in Derry and Donegal, maybe this needs to be formally extended now.

  • wild turkey


    1.if you work in derry and live in donegal do you pay income to the UK or RoI?

    2. over the last 1-15 years to what extent has much of Inishowen become a suburb for those who work in and around Derry? (data sources please)

  • wild turkey

    1 above should read ‘do you pay income tax to the UK or RoI.


  • joeCanuck

    You pay income taxes in the jurisdiction in which you earned them. This generally applies worldwide also.
    As regards granny addresses, this is nothing new. It has existed as long as the border has been there. There were quite a few from across the border in my primary school in Strabane. They did actually live with granny during the school week or school year.

  • confused

    Someone working in Derry and paying income tax is entitled to the benefits of the Nat health Service but his does not apply to members of his/her family.
    The fact that the granny address scam applied in other places such as Strabane does not make it right and should be stopped.

  • joeCanuck

    I didn’t say it was right or wrong; just that it’s a longstanding practice.
    And, for example, if granny had custody through legitimate fostering, it is likely legal.

  • StarHound

    Citizens Advice in the North and Comhairle in the South have set up an organisation called ‘Borderwise’ to advise people working/ living etc across the border.




    If someone pays taxes, Nat Ins and so on why shouldn’t their children be treated the same way as someone who also pays taxes, Nat Ins? Surely this is an EU issue, not just a North/South issue.

  • Briso

    The big problem with this is that the thousands of Derry nationalists now living across the border will not be able to vote in the referendum. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!!!! πŸ˜‰

  • Dan

    There must be EU regulations on this.
    France/Germany/ and the Benelux have cross border working etc and have done for years.

  • joeCanuck

    We’re heading there Dan.

  • feismathair

    The “granny address scam” is not a specifically cross border issue. Granny’s address could be used because you don’t live in the right parish etc to fit specific criteria for one school or another.

  • slug

    Pete Baker – still the best blogger around.

  • Pete Baker


    “You might well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment”