Academic to step down during plagiarism inquiry

Sat, Dec 15, 2012, 00:00

The chairman of the Institute of Technology Tralee, accused by staff of plagiarising sections of his master’s thesis, is to step down pending an investigation of the allegations.

Flan Garvey, a former Fianna Fáil councillor, faces accusations from 26 academic staff at the college . The 26 signed a letter of complaint to the college registrar detailing a “serious case of suspected plagiarism” in Mr Garvey’s 2008 Master of Arts dissertation, completed at IT Tralee.

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has said the allegations merit investigation.

Three external academics will be appointed to investigate. Their inquiry will be overseen by the Quality and Qualifications Ireland – formerly Hetac – which monitors academic standards.

In a statement to the governing body of the college, Mr Garvey said: “In the best interests of the Institute of Technology Tralee, and without prejudice to me and stating clearly my intention to defend my position, I will be unavailable to the institute for a number of weeks until this investigation is complete and will not be exercising my functions as chairman of the governing body.’

Councillor Terry O’Brien – deputy chairman – will assume the functions of chairman during the investigation.

The letter from staff claims Garvey’s dissertation, A Study of the Saiocht of a Parish in County Clare, contains large sections of text identical to earlier published sources either “uncited or cited in a manner that suggests that Mr Garvey is their author”.

Mr Garvey announced earlier this year that he has enrolled as a PhD student at the institute. He was unavailable for comment yesterday.