Teacher removed from professional register over false claims he worked for years at Cork school
Posted on 14th November 2022 at 21:59
A teacher who made false claims about working at a Cork primary school in job applications for vacant teaching posts in Southeast Asia has had his name removed from the register of teachers.
The President of the High Court made the order in respect Colm McCarthy, who is originally from Douglas, Co Cork.
Mr McCarthy had claimed he worked as a teacher at Carrigaline Educate Together National School in Co Cork when applying for positions in Thailand and Myanmar.
The High Court heard he had in fact done a placement at the school as a student teacher in the academic year of 2013/2014, but claimed in his job applications that he had been a Year 4 classroom teacher in the school “from 2017 to present”.
Findings of professional misconduct were made against Mr McCarthy earlier this year after a Teaching Council fitness to teach inquiry in relation to allegations after it received a complaint in September 2020.
On Monday, Mr Justice David Barniville confirmed the Teaching Council’s disciplinary panel’s decision to remove Mr McCarthy from the register of teachers and that he is not eligible to apply for restoration on to the register for four years.
Mr McCarthy was the subject of the council’s inquiry over his claim that he had worked at the school and also in relation to information he submitted regarding references.
The Teaching Council’s lawyers said that the situation unravelled for Mr McCarthy when he gave a reference email address that bounced back, and one of the organisations he had sent an application to contacted the Cork school directly.
When making its finding of professional misconduct on a number of allegations, the Council disciplinary panel found there was a pattern of deliberate conduct over a period of time that was of such a serious nature as to bring the profession into disrepute.
Mitigating circumstances included that Mr McCarthy had admitted the matters straight away and had cooperated with the subsequent inquiry. Aggravating factors included that it was not an isolated incident.
Confirming the sanctions against Mr McCarthy, Mr Justice Barniville noted the disciplinary panel found the teacher had acted in a fundamentally dishonest manner.
The judge was satisfied the sanctions were appropriate in the circumstances of the case.
At the fitness-to-teaching inquiry last July, Mr McCarthy apologised, claiming he had “no option” about what he did and he was “looking for a way out”.
Mr McCarthy explained he had a son living in Thailand at the time and he wanted to go back there.
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