Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Aodhan O Faolain

The President of the High Court has formally confirmed a recommendation that a teacher jailed for having sex with one of their students be struck off the teaching register.

The sanction was formally approved by High Court President Ms Justice Mary Irvine on Wednesday following an application made on behalf of the Teaching Council.

In confirming the sanction Ms Justice Irvine ruled that in order to protect the victim nothing be reported that could identify the victim or the teacher involved.

This included identifying the genders of the teacher and student in any reports, the judge added.

The teacher was jailed for a year after pleading guilty before the Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of defilement in 2018. The student, a fifth-year student, was under the age of 17 years at the time of the offences.

Arising out of the teacher’s conviction and subsequent investigation into their professional conduct by a disciplinary committee it was recommended by the council that the teacher be struck off the teaching register.

It was also recommended by the Council, which regulates the profession in Ireland, that the teacher be prevented from reapplying to be included on the register for a minimum period of 10 years.

Admissions

The Teaching Council’s application was not opposed. The President in approving the sanction noted the teacher’s admissions of regret.

However, the sanction recommended by the Council, which was to mark the seriousness of the misconduct involved, was appropriate and proportionate.

The court was in the circumstances satisfied to approve the recommended sanction.

Following an application by JP McDowell for the Teaching Council the President said she was prepared to make an order notifying the Teaching council’s equivalents in Northern Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland of its decision regarding the teacher. That order was required following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, Mr McDowell said.

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