THE PARENTS of a young Wexford trainee pilot at the centre of the controversy between Waterford based Pilot Training Centre (PTC) and the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) where he was due to receive flight training, have been forced to pay even more money in order to allow their son to continue his course.
Cathal Mernagh (19) of Glenbrien began the course at FIT in January having paid a large portion of his fees up front to PTC Waterford. However, the further things progressed, the more Cathal smelt a rat, and he rang home to tell his parents to delay paying the final instalment for the course.
Cathal's father John said, 'A lot of the people who were on the course with Cathal have already gone home.
' They just couldn't afford to stay out there. We were lucky, I suppose, in the fact that we hadn't paid the final instalment for the course, whereas a lot of the students had. Cathal knew something was up and he told us to delay making the payment.'
However, the money that John and Cybil managed to keep for Cathal's course will now have to be spent just so their son can continue a course that they already paid for.
' Well he's gone back training now,' John said, 'We're now funding him directly and making payments directly to FIT so that he can continue the course.
' They are looking for a further €30,000 in order for him to complete the course, so we'll have to look into funding that now.' Meanwhile, PTC have left the students and their parents completely in the dark in relation to what's going on and the whereabouts of the money they paid for the course.
The parents of the trainees are due to protest at Dáil Eireann tomorrow in order to put pressure on the government to step in and resolve the issue.