A THIRD-level college is investigating claims that its chairman plagiarised parts of his thesis for a master's degree.
The Irish Independent can today reveal that Flan Garvey, chairman of the governing body of the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT), received more than €125,000 in college expenses over the past seven years.
Mr Garvey, a former Fianna Fail councillor, received a master's degree in 2008 after completing a dissertation entitled 'A study of the Saoicht of a parish in Co Clare'.
Some lecturers at the college have accused him of plagiarising parts of the thesis and want an independent investigation.
The ITT said it "takes seriously any allegation of academic misconduct and all such matters are investigated thoroughly". Its governing board is scheduled to meet on Wednesday and it is expected that the plagiarism allegations by 26 lecturers and staff will be raised.
Mr Garvey received a weekly average of €345 in travel and subsistence expenses between 2005 and 2011 as chairman while travelling between Clare and Kerry. Figures obtained reveal Mr Garvey tops the expenses for the travel and subsistence paid to the ITT's 24 governing board members. The next nearest board member listed claimed €100,000 less for the same period.
Peter Considine, a Fianna Fail councillor in Clare, chair of the Tralee audit committee, got €24,809 for the seven years, or an average of €68 per week.
Mr Garvey, a retired school teacher, lives outside Inagh, Co Clare. Were he to travel to the Kerry campus from his home via the Limerick tunnel and along the main Limerick-Tralee road, it would be 155km.
Another route – from his home via Ennis to Killimer, the ferry across to Tarbert and then onto Tralee – is 118km. It is unknown how many trips he made between Tralee and his home over the seven years.
Mr Garvey received his master's degree in 2008 and the then councillor used €2,800 of his expenses from Clare council to pay for the degree.