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Teacher Accused of Sex Abuse is in Limbo 13 Years On.

The Daily Mail (London, England) October 13, 2010 by Helen Bruce

A TEACHER who has been suspended for 13 years over sex abuse allegations will learn in just over a week if he must face a fresh inquiry.

Patsy McGlinchey was suspended on full pay in 1997 over allegations that he abused pupils in the special needs school where he taught.

The 57-year-old was acquitted in 2002 of sex abuse charges against two male pupils at St Vincent's in Lisnagry, Co. Limerick, following a 19-day trial.

But because there were still seven HSE reports outstanding concerning allegations made by other pupils, the school refused to lift his suspension.

In May last year, McGlinchey took his case to the High Court where he and the school reached an agreement that allowed the court to quash his suspension.

The school also agreed to hold a private, independent inquiry, and that Mr McGlinchey 'should not return to work pending the outcome of that inquiry'.

That inquiry began last December but just two days in Mr McGlinchey and his lawyers walked out after the Bar Council-appointed adjudicator ruled that he would allow videotapes of interviews with children made by social workers 13 years ago.

McGlinchey protested that the tapes should not be allowed as evidence because his lawyers would not have an opportunity to question his accusers.

The father of three, from Newport, Co. Tipperary, who was in the Dublin court yesterday with his wife Dympna, was also angered the first witness called was a boy whose allegations had been thrown out by the criminal court.

The school then re-suspended him, accusing him of breaching the terms of their agreement.

In January, all outstanding civil proceedings against McGlinchey by parents and the children were struck out in the High Court. The teacher brought proceedings against the school board seeking to prevent the fresh suspension, and is also seeking damages for mental distress caused by the 13-year affair.

In July, Judge Mary Laffoy The Honourable Ms. Justice Mary Laffoy is a High Court judge in the Republic of Ireland. She presided over the Laffoy Commission, an inquiry into child abuse, before causing controversy by resigning as its chair.

In her letter of resignation from that Commission, Ms. ruled that the inquiry should not hear the allegations that had been dealt with in the criminal court but she ruled that the video evidence was admissible (algorithm) admissible - A description of a search algorithm that is guaranteed to find a minimal solution path before any other solution paths, if a solution exists. An example of an admissible search algorithm is A* search. .

She said she would deal with the case as a matter of contract law.

Yesterday James Connolly SC, for the school board, said it was 'unthinkable' the school could allow McGlinchey to return before it dealt with the outstanding allegations.

'It wanted to be able to go to parents and say, we have checked this man out, we are happy with him,' he said. Mr McGlinchey had 'stymied' any attempt by the school to conduct a full inquiry, he added. But Peter Finlay SC, for McGlinchey, said: 'There was no right of appeal or any other mechanism within the agreement, so what was he to do?' He said his client was willing to return to the inquiry 'and will address any complaints that remain on HSE files in respect to any other pupils'.

Judge Laffoy said: 'This matter has gone on long enough. I will give judgment on October 22.'


Battle: Patsy McGlinchey at court yesterday with his wife Dympna

Judge to Rule in Teacher's Case Over Sex Inquiry Resuspension

Irish Times, October 13, 2010

A HIGH Court judge hopes to give judgment later this month on proceedings by a teacher against his being resuspended over an inquiry into sex abuse allegations.

Last July, the High Court ruled Patrick McGlinchey was entitled to have determined as a matter of contract law his employment status with the special needs school from which he was suspended for some 13 years.

Mr McGlinchey (57) last year succeeded in having that suspension quashed as part of a High Court settlement under which the school was also to hold a new independent inquiry into the suspension. Issues then arose with that inquiry.

Mr McGlinchey, who is married with children and lives in Newport, Co Tipperary, was suspended on full pay in 1997 following allegations he abused a number of pupils in the school.

In 2002, he was acquitted of sex abuse charges against two male pupils following a 19-day trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

In a settlement of his civil action over his continued suspension last year, the suspension was lifted on terms including that the school would set up its own private inquiry into the allegations, including those made by other pupils.

When that inquiry took place last December, Mr McGlinchey and his lawyers walked out on the second day after the Bar Council-appointed adjudicator ruled he would allow into evidence video recordings of children who had made abuse complaints.

Mr McGlinchey claimed this was hearsay evidence and he would not have an opportunity to question his accusers. He also claimed one of the first witnesses to be called by the inquiry was a boy whose allegations had been thrown out by a criminal court.

As a result of the walkout, the school resuspended Mr McGlinchey saying he had attempted to frustrate the inquiry.

He then brought High Court proceedings claiming the school failed to comply with last year’s settlement, that the adjudicator’s ruling in relation to the video evidence was unlawful and there was a breach of his contract in failing to let him go back to work. The school denied his claims and argued he failed to co-operate with the inquiry as required under the settlement.

Last July, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy ruled the consequences of Mr McGlinchey’s withdrawal from the inquiry must be determined under the law of contract of employment. She said she would hear submissions from the parties on the contract law issue and adjourned the case to yesterday when she reserved judgment after hearing those submissions.

Peter Finlay for Mr McGlinchey asked the judge to first rule on the damages his client was entitled to over the school’s breach of last year’s settlement agreement.

James Connolly for the school argued Mr McGlinchey should not have walked out of the inquiry.