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Parents in protest at return of principal to St Joseph's Primary in Ballymartin

Parents have protested against the return of a sacked school principal who won an appeal against his dismissal.

The controversy began over 20 months ago when John White – headmaster of St Joseph's Primary in Ballymartin – was fired after an investigation by the board of governors into allegations of gross misconduct.

But Mr White won an appeal against the ruling, in which an employment appeals tribunal said he had been unfairly dismissed.

On his return to the Co Down primary school yesterday, Mr White was met by furious parents. One father threatened to take his daughter from the school.

It is understood that Mr White will spend the rest of the academic year looking for another job.

However, if he is unable to do so he is within his rights to return.

It is understood the situation has divided parents in the school.

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Paul O'Reilly, chairman of the school's board of governors, maintained their decision to dismiss Mr White was "correct".

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