Loreto Grammar School decision “an abuse of power”

As the BBC reports, Belfast High Court has delivered a damning ruling in the judicial review of the Northern Ireland Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitriona Ruane’s decision not to fund a £14.6million new build for, Catholic, Loreto College Loreto Grammar School, Omagh.  [corrected school name]

From the BBC report

…Justice McCloskey concluded that the conduct, delay and inactivity of the minister and department officials frustrated the legitimate expectation of the governors that a new Loreto Grammar School, financed by public funding, would be built on the existing site by 2010 at the latest.

“An unjustifiable breach of trust has occurred,” the judge said.

He further found that no proper consideration was given to the governors’ expectations when the relevant ministerial decisions were made.

The judge said: “I consider that the careful, thoughtful and conscientious consideration which was required of the minister and departmental officials concerned was manifestly absent and has not been demonstrated.” [added emphasis]

He also indicated his intention to quash a decision that Loreto’s proposed building project was non-compliant with the Sustainable Schools Policy criteria.

Update  The lengthy ruling is now available online.