A COLLEGE chairman who was cleared of plagiarising his Master's thesis is considering enrolling as a PhD student at the same institute.
Flan Garvey has said he will continue as chairman of the governing body of the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) until his term is up in February 2016.
The former Fianna Fail councillor is also contemplating advancing his own education at ITT, where he was awarded a Master's degree in 2008.
The award was investigated this year, amid allegations of plagiarism, but Mr Garvey was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.
ITT secretary Donal Fitzgibbon yesterday informed college staff that Mr Garvey had advised "the institute of his intention to resume the position of chairman effective from Monday, May 20".
Mr Garvey said it was not inappropriate for the ITT college chair to be enrolled as a postgraduate student, adding: "It is unique. I was used by the college and I used myself to promote lifelong learning."
In an interview with Clare FM, the retired schoolteacher said he could soon be enrolled as a PhD student in ITT while working as chairman of the governing body.
"I am considering it all the time," Mr Garvey said.
Last December, the Irish Independent revealed that Mr Garvey had received more than €125,000 in college expenses from 2005 to 2011.
"I don't deny for a second what my expenses have been," he said. "They are quoted in the paper by my lovable friends in the Irish Independent, who said I got €125,000 over seven years.
"That boils down to €18,000 a year. Is that huge money? They don't say too much about the fellas in the banks who get €840,000 a year."
Mr Garvey said his expenses were fully justified as he had to travel 98 miles one way to Tralee. "That entails costs of my car, my petrol, my diesel. It entails costs of me paying for lunches or maybe overnights, as would happen if there were functions at night."
Regarding calls from ITT lecturers for him to step down, Mr Garvey said: "That is their business. They are only a few of them in question. I have to respond to the vast majority who are the management, the staff and the students and the governing body."