Parents, students, and teachers from a south Dublin school have protested outside Leinster House to urge the minister for education to support the board of the school, as well as the school's attempts to prevent the sale of adjacent playing fields by the Christian Brothers.

Today's protest was organised by Clonkeen College's Parents' Association.

The Edmund Rice Schools' Trust (ERST), which owns and runs the school, has asked Minister Richard Bruton for permission to dissolve the school's board of management.

The ERST says the board is jeopardising the school by supporting a legal action against the Christian Brothers’ decision to sell the playing fields.

That legal action is scheduled to be heard in the High Court next Thursday.

Parents and teachers at today's protest reiterated their support for the school's board and they appealed to Mr Bruton not to dissolve it.

They also called on him to intervene "in any way possible" to prevent the sale of the land.

The Clonkeen playing fields are central to negotiations currently ongoing between the Department of Education and the Christian Brothers over payments due from the religious order as part of the redress scheme for institutional child abuse.

The Christian Brothers established the Edmund Rice Schools' Trust a decade ago and transferred ownership of its 97 primary and secondary schools and school buildings to the trust.

But the Christian Brothers retained ownership of 49 playing fields attached to some of those schools.

In 2009, the Christian Brothers estimated the value of those playing fields at €127 million. The pitch at Clonkeen College is among those.

In 2009, it was valued at just over €13 million. However, its recent agreed sale price is a reported €18 million.

Over the course of the past nine years, these 49 playing fields have been the subject of protracted negotiations between the Department of Education and the Christian Brothers related to payments as part of redress.

Last May, the Christian Brothers offered to transfer its playing fields to the ERST, with the proceeds of any future sales to be shared on a 50:50 basis between ERST and the State.

However, as part of this proposed deal the Christian Brothers said that Clonkeen College was to be sold separately with those proceeds used to fund the brother's outstanding €8.8 million cash commitment under redress.