Music teacher jailed for welfare fraud banned from teaching

Daniel Alexandre Daudet removed from Teaching Council register for 10 years

A music teacher who was convicted on more than 700 charges of social welfare fraud has been removed from the Teaching Council’s register.

The council's disciplinary committee panel said Daniel Alexandre Daudet (44), a French national who registered with the Teaching Council in 2006, would not be able to reapply to work as a teacher for 10 years.

However, if Daudet successfully appealed his convictions in the courts, the panel said he could apply to have his name restored to the register immediately.

Daudet was the subject of an inquiry by the disciplinary panel on November 11th, which he failed to attend. The panel found all allegations against him proven but postponed a decision on appropriate sanctions until today. Daudet did not attend the hearing this afternoon.

In 2018, he was sentenced at Dublin's Circuit Criminal Court to 3½ years' imprisonment following conviction on 711 charges of social welfare fraud involving about €185,000.

Daudet taught at a south Dublin school from 2011-2015, but in 2017 he was convicted of the offences relating to the use of a false identity to dishonestly claim welfare payments over a period of 13 years, from 2002-2015.

In 2002, he registered for a PPS number under the name Alexandre Daude, using an altered French national ID card, and also had a PPS number in the name Daniel Daudet. He used this PPS number to claim Back to Education allowances, unemployment assistance, now known as Jobseeker's Allowance, as well as rent supplement.

In 2015, a fraud investigator at the Department of Social Protection uncovered his false claims and payments and brought these to the attention of gardaí. The trial in 2018 was told Daudet rented a penthouse apartment with its own private swimming pool in Dublin's Spencer Dock.

Today, the Teaching Council's disciplinary committee panel, at an online hearing chaired by Melanie Ní Dhuinn, were advised by solicitor JP McDowell and Eileen Barrington, SC, on sanctions that could be imposed on Daudet.

The panel, which included Ms Ní Dhuinn, non-teacher member Charlie Dolan and teacher member Noel Cronin, then went into private session before returning at 6.30pm to announce its decision.

As presented by Ms Ní Bhuinn, it had decided it was, “in principle, appropriate that Mr Daudet be removed from the register” as his actions “were incompatible with fitness to teach”.

Should Daudet be successful in an appeal to the courts, which was not being “progressed in a timely manner”, then he “should be eligible to apply to be restored to the register pursuant to section 31, immediately,” she said.

“Otherwise, the panel concludes that he should not be eligible to apply for a period of 10 years. In selecting this period the panel had regard to the seriousness of the convictions, the sums at issue, the sustained nature of the actions and, most fundamentally, the reputation of the profession and the maintenance of public confidence in the profession,” she concluded.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times