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Caitriona Ruane faces challenge over bus fund decision

Education Minister Caitriona Ruane is facing a High Court challenge over the refusal to fund a bus service to Northern Ireland's only post-primary Irish language school.

The board of governors at Colaiste Feirste in west Belfast is seeking a judicial review of her department’s decision not to financially back a pilot transport scheme for pupils coming from Downpatrick, Co Down.

A judge was told the service would encourage more children to attend and help increase the use of Irish language.

Michael Lavery QC, appearing for the school’s vice-chairperson, Colma McKee, said: “The more children that we can get to be educated through the medium of Irish the more you are achieving the objective of the Good Friday Agreement and the statute.”

The decision not to fund the service for 11 pupils who travel from Downpatrick to Colaiste Feirste was taken last September on the basis of an economic assessment.

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