O'Mahony, Conor, “A New Slant on Educational Rights and Mandatory Injunctions?” 2005, Dublin University Law Journal, Vol. 27, pg 363, available at




The granting of mandatory injunctions compelling the State to provide educational services has been a highly controversial and much litigated issue in recent years. There had always been a general acceptance that the courts should refrain from granting such injunctions and confine themselves instead to declaratory relief, on the assumption that the State would respond to any such declaration.  However, the failure of the State to respond in an appropriate manner in a succession of cases led the High Court to break with tradition and grant mandatory injunctions in both DB v Minister for Justice and TD v Minister for Education.  This was appealed to the Supreme Court, who seemed to close the door on this particular remedy in their landmark decision by holding that mandatory injunctions of this nature amounted to a breach of the separation of powers as they dealt with matters of policy and distributive justice. This article in concerned with the effect of the recent decision of the High Court in Cronin v Minister for Education;  this case has arguably put a new slant on the Supreme Court decision in TD which, if correct, may potentially have far-reaching consequences. The approach adopted by Laffoy J. could, if followed, serve to limit much of the damage which was caused by the highly restrictive Supreme Court decision; additionally, the High Court decision further highlights the illogical nature of some aspects of the reasoning of the majority of the Supreme Court in TD. (Only abstract available)