Suspended teacher seeks reinstatement


A teacher who has been on full pay since he was suspended and later allegedly dismissed by the board of management of a Cork city community school 10 years ago has taken High Court proceedings in an effort to be restored to his teaching post.

Mr Denis Tobin, Park Court, Ballyvolane, Cork, is alleged to have picketed Mayfield Community School, Old Youghal Road, Mayfield, and gone on hunger-strike there in support of his claim. The action is against Mr John Cashell, chairman of the Mayfield school board of management, Mr John J. Murphy, the school secretary, and the Minister for Education.

The defendants claim it had been alleged Mr Tobin struck a pupil in one incident and also put pupils in fear. It is also claimed he undermined the role of the school principal.

In judicial review proceedings before Mr Justice Kearns, Mr Tobin is seeking an order quashing the June 1992 decision of the school's board of management purporting to dismiss him and an order restoring him to his former position.

In court yesterday Mr Gerald Tynan SC, for Mr Tobin, said his client had been employed at the school from 1973. Unfortunate differences had arisen between him and the board of management and, more particularly, with the school principal. Mr Tobin had had his position terminated without notice, warning or reasons.

Mr Tynan said Mr Tobin had come to Mayfield from Boyle, Co Roscommon, where he had worked for the Vocational Education Committee (VEC) and was employed by the Minister. He had claimed at all times when he went to Mayfield to have been a VEC teacher. Under the VEC legislation, it was clear that only the Minister could dismiss him.

The school board and its secretary are contesting Mr Tobin's allegations and claim they acted properly. They claim they could not ignore Mr Tobin's repeated failures to abide by undertakings given by him and were obliged by his continued misbehaviour to take the action they did.

The hearing continues today.