Wednesday 20 February 2019

Ex-lecturer apologises for 'excessive language' in internet blog

Shane Hickey

A COLLEGE lecturer who called on the DCU president to reveal whether his father was a Nazi apologised for his controversial web blog yesterday.

Dr Sean O'Nuallain admitted language used on his internet blog was "over the top" and "excessive".

He made the controversial remarks about Ferdinand Von Prondzynski, the president of Dublin City University (DCU).

The university is appealing a 2003 rights commissioner ruling that Dr O'Nuallain should be reinstated to a permanent position, with no financial loss. DCU maintained it did not terminate his employment and that he had "repudiated" his contract.

But the former lecturer claims he did not resign and was constructively dismissed.



Nazi

A previous hearing of the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) heard from a number of blog posts and emails about staff and the president at DCU. One reference said it was time Prof Von Prondzynski revealed whether his father was a Nazi and had fought in World War II as a willing participant.

"I apologise for a lot of the language used in the blog," Dr O'Nuallain said. "It was over the top. I apologise for the excessive language."

Prof Von Prondzynski said previously that his father had fought in World War II, as had many people of that age. He denied his father or any member of his family was a member of the Nazi party and that the comments were a step beyond acceptable boundaries.

The row between Dr O'Nuallain and DCU has been ongoing since before May 2002, when a letter dismissing him from his position as a lecturer in computer applications was posted through the letterbox of his home.

At yesterday's hearing of the EAT, Dr O'Nuallain said academics were like athletes and that he was "not an Olympic one but a good level one".

His partner, Melanie O'Reilly, said the loss of his job had been "devastating" and he had not had a salary over a long period. She added that, as a result, the pair had not been able to plan a family.

When questioned on his chances of getting a job in the US, where he went after leaving DCU, Dr O'Nuallain said he "didn't have a hope in hell" of getting a job there. The fact he did not have a base university in Ireland worked against him, he added.

The hearing continues.

Irish Independent

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