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Racism probe launched at top Dublin school

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A former pupil has made allegations of racism. Stock image

A former pupil has made allegations of racism. Stock image

A former pupil has made allegations of racism. Stock image

A prestigious South Dublin fee-paying boarding school has launched an independent review into allegations of a "culture of racism".

Mark Boobbyer, warden of St Columba's College in Whitechurch, Dublin 16, issued a statement on the college's website yesterday after a former pupil made allegations of racism last week, which sparked further claims by both current and former pupils of the Church of Ireland institution.

"On May 31, St Columba's College was contacted by a former pupil of the college, who bravely shared with us her experiences of racism while attending the school," he said.

Experiences

"Her actions motivated other people, both former and current pupils, to share similar experiences.

"We can only imagine how difficult it was for the young people involved to write down those experiences. We thank them for having the courage to bring these matters to our attention."

He said the board and management of the college "is taking these matters very seriously and are taking a number of steps to address and respond to the issues raised".

The college has established an independent review to consider the issues raised and to evaluate whether there is a culture of racism, direct or indirect, within the college and "importantly, to make appropriate recommendations" arising from the review.

"This review is being conducted by an experienced legal and governance professional and will involve others with expertise in the area of cultural diversity, with direct experience within an educational setting," said Mr Boobbyer.

He said the review would take around six weeks.

"This is to allow sufficient time to ensure that the process is thorough and robust," he said.

"The college is committed to shining a searchlight into these issues, which are of the utmost importance to the college.

"I very much hope that the conversation which will ensue from this process will be a catalyst that will allow us to ensure the care for our pupils is of the highest standard."