The Circuit Court will deliver a ruling at the end of the month that could have implications for the admissions policies of hundreds of schools.

Today the court in Clonmel heard closing arguments in the case of a secondary school that refused to enrol a Traveller boy because his father was not a past pupil.

The school in question - Christian Brothers High School in Clonmel - is appealing a ruling made last year by the Equality Tribunal.

The tribunal had ordered the school to admit 13-year-old John Stokes and review its admissions policy.

It found that an admissions policy clause favouring the children of past pupils over others amounted to indirect discrimination of Travellers under equality legislation.

At the Circuit Court today counsel for Mary Stokes, who is John Stokes' mother, argued that the school had chosen to insert criteria into its admissions policy that was not acceptable under law.

They argued that the parent clause discriminated against Travellers because their parents were far less likely to have attended Post Primary education.

Counsel for the school argued that this did not amount to direct discrimination because 83 other children had also been refused entry on the basis that their parents were also not past pupils.

It said it appreciated that the case had ramifications for the admissions policies of other schools, but it said it was not a test case.

Judge Thomas Teehan reserved his judgment until 25 July.