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Teaching council to decide if former deputy principal jailed for distributing child porn should be struck off

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The Teaching Council in Maynooth

The Teaching Council in Maynooth

The Teaching Council in Maynooth

An inquiry will determine this afternoon if a former deputy primary school principal, jailed for 18 months for distributing child pornography, should be struck off the teaching register for life.

Brian Fitzgerald (50) of Golf Links Road, Youghal, County Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court last year to possessing thousands of images and videos of young children engaging in explicit sexual acts on various dates been February and May 2017.

The teacher of 26 years was both acting principal and deputy principal in his school, which has not been named.

Mr Fitzgerald or his legal representation were not present at this morning’s inquiry, which is ongoing at The Teaching Council, Maynooth, Co, Kildare.

However, the ‘fitness to teach’ inquiry, which is the third to date, heard that Mr Fitzgerald did not contest the proceedings and wanted the matter to be dealt with as soon as possible.

The three members of the Disciplinary Committee are now in deliberations.

To reach a hearing, a complaint has to go through a Teaching Council Investigation Committee, which decides whether it merits being forwarded to a Disciplinary Committee.

Complaints that are considered frivolous or vexatious will not progress to a formal hearing.

In extreme cases, teachers may be "struck off" the professional register. Lesser penalties, include suspension, admonishment or an offer of support to improve performance.

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