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Tuesday 25 June 2019

Academic in bat-sex case claims he is fit for work

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

AN academic who was put on compulsory sick leave after a colleague accused him of sexual harassment has claimed that he is fit for work.

University College Cork (UCC) placed Dr Dylan Evans on enforced sick leave after he showed a female colleague research on the sexual habits of fruit bats.

The university will not allow him back to work until he has undergone a medical assessment by an occupational-health adviser that it nominates, in order to determine whether he is fit for work.

But Dr Evans has claimed that he is fully capable of doing his job and has written on his website that he has a doctor's note certifying this.

He also announced his engagement to academic Louise Burgoyne on Twitter. Dr Evans thanked her for standing by him throughout what he called the "fruitbatgate debacle".

His colleague, Dr Rossano Salerno Kennedy, accused Dr Evans of sexual harassment after he showed her a research paper called "Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time".

She claimed that it was not the first time that he had raised sexual subjects with her. Dr Salerno Kennedy lectures in medical education and is married to Professor Peter Kennedy, vice-president of research at UCC.


An inquiry by an external team appointed by the college found that Dr Evans, a lecturer in behavioural science, "made a joke with sexual innuendo" that caused Dr Salerno Kennedy offence. However, the investigators also found that it was not his intention to cause offence.

The university ordered that he undergo a two-year period of intensive monitoring and counselling.

The High Court has granted Dr Evans permission to mount a judicial review of the college's disciplinary process. The case is scheduled for November 30.

Irish Independent

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