The Equality Tribunal has awarded more than €12,000 to a primary school teacher who was discriminated against because she was not a Catholic.

The tribunal found that Knocktemple National School in Virginia, Co Cavan, discriminated against the female teacher when she applied for a job at the school in 2007.

Michelle McKeever is a member of the Church of Ireland.

She applied for a permanent job at Knocktemple National School, which is Catholic, in May 2007.

Shortly after, she was contacted by the school principal and the chairperson of the school and offered a permanent post.

But after a phone call in which Ms McKeever was questioned about holding the Catholic Religion Certificate, that offer was withdrawn.

The Equality Tribunal has dismissed two explanations given by the school as to why this happened. The explanations were based on breaches of formal procedures.

Michelle McKeever contended that her religion had become a factor in the appointment procedure.

The Equality Tribunal has agreed with her, finding that not only was Ms McKeever's religion discussed, but that it also influenced the school's board of management in withdrawing the offer that had been made.

The primary teachers' union, the INTO, has welcomed the result.

It is the first time the union has taken a case of this kind on behalf of a member on the grounds of religion.