Schoolteacher faces financial ruin after order to pay legal costs

A secondary school teacher from Co Offaly has been ordered to pay the legal costs of her failed High Court action in which she alleged she was bullied and sexually harassed by a male colleague.

The bill for Mary O'Toole, a mother-of-one from Whitehall Estate, will run to thousands of euro.

Last month, the 48-year-old's claims against her former colleague, and that Offaly VEC, failed to act on her allegations of sexual harassment and bullying, were dismissed by the court as not credible.

The judge today said he found no reason not to award costs against the 48-year-old, after her lawyers argued it was an unusual case where a teacher had taken on society and the might of the VEC.

A stay of 31 days has been put on the order to allow Mary O'Toole time to further instruct her lawyers.

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