Monday 26 September 2016

School principal claims investigation into complaints against him is part of an agenda to have him removed from his position

Aodhan O'Faolain

Published 08/03/2016 | 17:56

Noel Malone (51), principal of Colaiste Chiaran, Croom, Co. Limerick, leaving court today. Photo: Courtpix
Noel Malone (51), principal of Colaiste Chiaran, Croom, Co. Limerick, leaving court today. Photo: Courtpix

A SECONDARY school principal claims an investigation into complaints against him, including that he stared, and winked at another teacher, are part of an agenda to have him removed from his position.

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Noel Malone, head teacher at the 900-student Colaiste Chiaran in Croom, Co Limerick, has brought High Court proceedings against the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (ETB), which runs the co-educational school.

John Hennessy SC, for Mr Malone, told the High Court his client has been suspended on pay from his job arising out of two complaints, made in July and September of 2014.

One complaint is that a teacher at the school allegedly taught one of Mr Malone's children on a one-to-one basis as part of that teacher's contracted 22 weekly hours.

The other complaint was another teacher at the school alleged he was "stared at", "smiled at" and "winked at" by Mr Malone at "an event outside of the school".

The manner in which the complaints, which he says are "utterly baseless, false and malicious," are being investigated and his subsequent suspension from his post in July 2014 form part of an agenda to get rid of him as principal of the school, counsel said.

Mr Malone has brought proceedings seeking various orders and declarations including an order preventing the ETB from continuing its investigation into the complaints.

Should any disciplinary process be allowed proceed he further seeks an order he is entitled to an oral hearing where he can challenge any complainant or any witness in support of any complaint against him.

The Limerick and Clare ETB have opposed the case.

The ETB rejects Mr Malone's claims including he has been denied fair procedures or natural justice, that it delayed in bringing a quick resolution to the process or it has breached Mr Malone's rights.

The ETB also says Mr Malone delayed in bringing his action against it.

The action continues.

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