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Thursday 18 July 2019

Senior TCD academic set for two-year suspension

Dr Gerald Morgan will also lose college rooms as part of unprecedented action

DANIEL MCCONNELL

Trinity College, Dublin, is set to suspend one of its senior academics and remove him from his home on campus, following a long dispute.

A disciplinary report into the case involving Dr Gerald Morgan completed within the last month, and seen by the Sunday Independent, recommends that he be suspended without pay for two years.

The sanctions were recommended by Senior Dean Professor Cyril Smith in a 250-page report. If the college was to expel Dr Morgan it would be an unprecedented move in modern Irish academia. Other sanctions put forward include a ban on entering the college and a full barring from the college's email facilities.

Dr Morgan's email has already been suspended after he published a highly charged letter addressed to the provost, which was circulated among a large number of staff.

The report states that: "Dr Morgan has seriously misrepresented the outcomes of disciplinary procedures against him, grossly abused the privilege of the use of the college's email and internet facilities, severely breached the college's code of conduct." The report said that Dr Morgan blatantly contravened policy on dealing with harassment with respect to right to anonymity.

A source close to Dr Morgan said: "He has repeatedly protested his innocence and has been stonewalled by the college. It has all gone way too far, but this is a man who has given his life to the college and now faces the prospect of being kicked out."

Trinity College, Dublin, had no comment to make. However, a senior management figure said: "There are a few people here at the top who would like this to all go away. But there is a lot of animosity surrounding this thing and this could go all the way."

The college revealed to the Sunday Independent that it had spent over €100,000 in legal fees, but sources say the real figure could be closer to five times that.

Dr Morgan, a renowned lecturer in the college's English Department, has been in hot water since his alleged involvement in an instance of harassment against a female colleague in October 2002.

Dr Morgan took issue with the manner in which the investigation was carried out and ultimately took the college to the High Court and Supreme Court. He was forced to settle when he ran out of money, and had to apologise. The college stressed that Dr Morgan's apology is an admission of guilt, whereas he strenuously denies any liability.

The female academic in question, Dr Stephanie Newell has since left Trinity and is now working in the UK.

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