DkIT student appeal could face delay

An appeal case taken by a Dundalk Institute of Technology Student regarding cuts to the higher education maintenance grant scheme in budget 2011 has hit a lengthy delay.

An appeal case taken by a Dundalk Institute of Technology Student regarding cuts to the higher education maintenance grant scheme in budget 2011 has hit a lengthy delay.

A notice of intent to appeal was served in May last year on behalf of Dundalk IT student Robert Johnson and NUIG Arts student Medb McCarthy after their legal challenge was defeated in April.

However the student body has since been advised that the appeal process could take some time. The students had initially sought the judicial review on two grounds.

They argued that they had a legitimate expectation that they would continue to receive the non-adjacent rate of the grant and that the Minister had breached Section 6 of the Student Support Act 2011.

However, the ruling by Mr Justice Hedigan in favour of the Minister and the Department found that grant cuts were in the public interest given the dire financial circumstances facing the country at the time.

However following its notice of intent to appeal, the Union of Students of Ireland has since been advised that there would be a four to five year wait to have such an appeal heard in the Supreme Court due to a backlog of cases.

A spokesperson for the USI says efforts to have it treated as a priority case have so far been unsuccessful.