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Northern Ireland - Protestant teacher 'suffered discrimination'

A protestant primary school teacher who lost her job was discriminated against on religious grounds, according to the Fair Employment Tribunal.

At a hearing last week, Julie Brudell was awarded #163;8,250 for unlawful dismissal from Ballykelly Primary School in County Derry.

Ballykelly is in the non-Catholic, state-controlled sector but the majority of pupils at the time of Ms Brudell's redundancy last year were Catholic.

The school governors and the Western Education and Library Board said Ms Brudell's religion was not a consideration in making her redundant, rather that she had no experience of teaching Catholic religious education.

However, the tribunal found the decision amounted to direct as well as indirect discrimination on the grounds of religious belief. Of the 15 teachers at the school, five were Catholic but the four selected for redundancy were non-Catholic.

Speaking after the hearing, Ms Brudell said she was pleased with the result: "I am glad that this has been resolved and the tribunal found my selection for redundancy was unlawful discrimination." MR.

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