DENI appeal “abuse of power” ruling

The BBC report that the Northern Ireland Department of Education, including presumably the NI Education Minister Sinn Féin’s Caitriona Ruane, have lodged an official appeal against the “abuse of power” ruling that followed a judicial review of the minister’s refusal to provide funding for Loreto Grammar School’s planned new-build on its existing site in Omagh.

From the BBC report

Loreto Grammar School in Omagh was promised new premises by a previous education minister in 2004.

However, this decision was reversed by Catriona Ruane.

The minister said the school would instead be re-built as part of a multi-school complex at Omagh’s former Lisanelly Army camp.

The high court judgement said the school had been treated unfairly in what amounted to an “abuse of power”, and it quashed the decision not to build the £15m school.

It also quashed the decision which declared the school’s plans were not compliant with Department of Education policy.

Solicitors for the school said the appeal was lodged within the time limit, but it is not clear when it will go to court.

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  • Cynic2

    Here we go again. More money down the drain with a Department out of control and a Minister well beyond her capabilities.

    This will now cost another Primary School in legal fees alone

  • DC

    I agree Cynic, the appeal should fail.

    This is just one in a long list of other potential abuses of power:

    11+ itself was a botched job (originally scrapped by McGuinness three days before the suspension of the previous stop-go Assembly, which given its contested stop-go nature commanded little authoritative power to do what he ultimately did in the end – an abuse of power?)

    Red Sky workers – contract terminated by the SDLP just before election time (abuse of power?)

    Loyalist funding illegally cut short by Margaret Ritchie (an abuse of power?)

    Girdwood Army Base just for housing only asserts the SDLP minister – just before election (no executive agreement or debate in assembly – an abuse of power?)

    Peter Robinson’s land deals (an abuse of power?)

    Paisley Junior and Seymour Sweeney and the Causeway (an abuse of power?)

    The executive log jam – lasting half a year (ministers on same pay for doing nothing – an abuse of power?)

    NI Water – no one taking any direct responsibility and able to articulate the real sense of organisational failure there. Why hasn’t Paul Priestley been fired yet because of alleged departmental interference/corruption?

    Conor Murphy’s giving the go ahead on the A5, despite thousands of complaints lodged against it, plus other roads sitting on a “green light” with a legal expectation of widening and improvements yet they are knocked back to “amber” to facilitate the costly A5 project (an abuse of power?)

    There are probably more examples.

  • 241934 john brennan

    The real abuse of power is the cosy carve-up of power between SF/DUP – the “all power in our hands” approach. With their mutual vetoes, this often means no delivery on any given project – in reality a disconnection between the engines of government and its power supply initiation. They way SF/DUP operate, this means there is sometimes one “dead-man’s hand”, and often two, on government power levers.

    Of course, SF/DUP separately blames each other and “the mandatory coalition system of government” for their joint impotence (non-delivery), which often amounts to an abuse of power, as and when it impacts upon the public.

    I may have to change my profile to “Cynic 3” or “Realist 1”, because I have now come to regard the never-ending Peace Process as:

    A Peerage Process for the DUP:

    A Pension Process for retired Provisionals:

    A Poverty Process for the rest of us

  • Cynic2

    Dont totally agree with you list but my view on this isnt party political. I would add in Poots mishandling of RPI and the shambles over the Derry Cancer Centre, for example.

    But all of these show the fundamental lack of accountability in this system., We don’t have Ministers – we have cyphers who cannot be removed no matter how bad they are..

    Education is just perhaps the very very worst of a bad bunch

  • Cynic2

    “one “dead-man’s hand”, and often two, on government power levers.”

    …and those are just the ones you can see. I usually find when a strange decision is taken it is prudent to ask two simpole questions

    1 why are they doing this?

    2 who will benefit financially?

    You might be amazed how many times that throws up an answer – or perhaps you wouldnt

  • DC

    I would add in Poots mishandling of RPI and the shambles over the Derry Cancer Centre, for example.

    Yes the cancer unit is another one for the list as well, perhaps even the legal aid stand off should be included as another example of politicians going “macho”.

    The list wasn’t meant to be party political either.

  • DC

    A Peerage Process for the DUP:

    A Pension Process for retired Provisionals:

    A Poverty Process for the rest of us

    Commended!

  • Cynic2

    The problem is that the accountability only flows on party lines.

    “They may be a useless bastard but they are OUR useless bastard and not one of themuns”

  • Cynic2

    Not so sure about the Pension. Many of them has low expectations (after all those years of British oppression of course) and seem to work as labourers / security guards / taxi drivers / minders while the ‘intelligentsia’ reap the benefits.

    Talk about ‘croppy lie down’!