Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us


GMIT not concerned by ‘skeletons in closet’



The President of Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) says one could never be fully confident that there aren’t more plagiarism ‘skeletons’ in the college’s closet that have yet to come out.

Michael Carmody, who retires next month, said he was confident however that the independent external investigation, which racked up costs of almost €500,000, ‘got to the bottom of’ a serious incident of plagiarism at the college’s School of Business.

Mr Carmody, in a lengthy interview with Galway City Tribune, confirmed that disciplinary action had been taken against a number of employees arising from the plagiarism report.

He declined to be drawn on the nature of the sanctions, or the identity of those disciplined.

A report into the investigation was presented to Mr Carmody last month and was subsequently discussed at the February meeting of the Governing Body, which lasted far longer than usual.

The incident of plagiarism under investigation relates to a masters student at the School of Business in 2009. It was asked to establish the facts around the allegation that a lecturer facilitated a student, her partner, to cheat in an assignment. The external investigation was also charged with exposing whether the cheating incident was “suppressed, concealed or covered up” by staff.

Asked if he was confident the incident is isolated, and if there are any other historical cases that might come to light, Mr Carmody indicated the college was dealing with another case.

“Well that’d be a very brave statement to make now. What we can say is we are confident of the processes that are in place, which are certainly fit for purpose now,” he said.

“There could be particular issues. That’s possible. We’re dealing with something . . . In terms of historical? I’m confident what we have today is a very good system and process. We are dealing with one other particular issue today that is historical. That has come to light but that is being dealt with and followed through.

“We don’t even know if that’s a problem. But we are dealing with another particular issue . . . but we don’t particularly want to get into that. But in terms of where we are today. I’d never be confident . . . it’d be a very brave person that would say nothing could come to light. I’m sure you’ll be the first to know.”

Mr Carmody also addressed the issue of a split in the investigation team of Professor Bairbre Redmond, the deputy registrar for teaching and learning at University College Dublin, and Ed Madden, a barrister and mediator.

Mr Carmody said he is aware of the perception that he might not have liked what was contained in the Madden report, and so he subsequently re-hired Ms Redmond to produce a more favourable report but that was not reality.

“Whatever the perception, I wasn’t worried about what people’s perception was, I wanted to get this thing done. I just wanted the investigation done, and to deal with it. There might be a perception of what might or might not have happened.

“What did happen was I ended up getting a report in Madden’s name, I had queries, he did not deal with them and I was left in that situation. I got legal advice as to how best to proceed, and the advice was get Redmond to complete the report. Regardless of perception that’s actually what happened.” He said the two reports differ only slightly, mostly in style but not substance.

Mr Carmody reiterated GMIT’s commitment to publish both reports, although he indicated that names may have to be redacted. He acknowledged that a decision not to publish would add fuel to the conspiracy theory that there was an attempt of a “cover-up of a possible cover-up”.

“All aspects to do with the investigation are now completed. I suppose, we are limited in what we can say due to the sensitivity of the matter and our obligations under data protection. We would like to provide as much information to you as possible but we are restricted for those reasons and we have to be very careful what we say.

“We will publish everything, in so much as we can publish, in the two reports, because it is in our interest to do so. The alternative is you don’t publish at all – that certainly wouldn’t be ideal . . . looking at the issue of covering up the outcome of a cover-up,” added Mr Carmody.

Connacht Tribune

West has lower cancer survival rates than rest



Significant state investment is required to address ‘shocking’ inequalities that leave cancer patients in the West at greater risk of succumbing to the disease.

A meeting of Regional Health Forum West heard that survival rates for breast, lung and colorectal cancers than the national average, and with the most deprived quintile of the population, the West’s residents faced poorer outcomes from a cancer diagnosis.

For breast cancer patients, the five-year survival rate was 80% in the West versus 85% nationally; for lung cancer patients it was 16.7% in the west against a 19.5% national survival rate; and in the West’s colorectal cancer patients, there was a 62.6% survival rate where the national average was 63.1%.

These startling statistics were provided in answer to a question from Ballinasloe-based Cllr Evelyn Parsons (Ind) who said it was yet another reminder that cancer treatment infrastructure in the West was in dire need of improvement.

“The situation is pretty stark. In the Western Regional Health Forum area, we have the highest incidence of deprivation and the highest health inequalities because of that – we have the highest incidences of cancer nationally because of that,” said Cllr Parsons, who is also a general practitioner.

In details provided by CEO of Saolta Health Care Group, which operates Galway’s hospitals, it was stated that a number of factors were impacting on patient outcomes.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Marathon Man plans to call a halt – but not before he hits 160 races



Loughrea’s Marathon Man Jarlath Fitzgerald.

On the eve of completing his 150th marathon, an odyssey that has taken him across 53 countries, Loughrea’s Marathon Man has announced that he is planning to hang up his running shoes.

But not before Jarlath Fitzgerald completes another ten races, making it 160 marathons on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

“I want to draw the line in 2026. I turn 57 in October and when I reach 60 it’s the finishing line. The longer races are taking it out of me. I did 20 miles there two weeks ago and didn’t feel good. It’s getting harder,” he reveals.

“I’ve arthritis in both hips and there’s wear and tear in the knees.”

We speak as he is about to head out for a run before his shift in Supervalu Loughrea. Despite his physical complaints, he still clocks up 30 miles every second week and generally runs four days a week.

Jarlath receives injections to his left hip to keep the pain at bay while running on the road.

To give his joints a break, during the winter he runs cross country and often does a five-mile trek around Kylebrack Wood.

He is planning on running his 150th marathon in Cork on June 4, where a group of 20 made up of work colleagues, friends and running mates from Loughrea Athletics Club will join him.

Some are doing the 10k, others are doing the half marathon, but all will be there on the finishing line to cheer him on in the phenomenal achievement.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading


Galway ‘masterplan’ needed to tackle housing and transport crises



From the Galway City Tribune – An impassioned plea for a ‘masterplan’ that would guide Galway City into the future has been made in the Dáil. Galway West TD Catherine Connolly stated this week that there needed to be an all-inclusive approach with “vision and leadership” in order to build a sustainable city.

Deputy Connolly spoke at length at the crisis surrounding traffic and housing in Galway city and said that not all of the blame could be laid at the door of the local authority.

She said that her preference would be the provision of light rail as the main form of public transport, but that this would have to be driven by the government.

“I sat on the local council for 17 years and despaired at all of the solutions going down one road, metaphorically and literally. In 2005 we put Park & Ride into the development plan, but that has not been rolled out. A 2016 transport strategy was outdated at the time and still has not been updated.

“Due to the housing crisis in the city, a task force was set up in 2019. Not a single report or analysis has been published on the cause of the crisis,” added Deputy Connolly.

She then referred to a report from the Land Development Agency (LDA) that identified lands suitable for the provision of housing. But she said that two-thirds of these had significant problems and a large portion was in Merlin Park University Hospital which, she said, would never have housing built on it.

In response, Minister Simon Harris spoke of the continuing job investment in the city and also in higher education, which is his portfolio.

But turning his attention to traffic congestion, he accepted that there were “real issues” when it came to transport, mobility and accessibility around Galway.

“We share the view that we need a Park & Ride facility and I understand there are also Bus Connects plans.

“I also suggest that the City Council reflect on her comments. I am proud to be in a Government that is providing unparalleled levels of investment to local authorities and unparalleled opportunities for local authorities to draw down,” he said.

Then Minister Harris referred to the controversial Galway City Outer Ring Road which he said was “struck down by An Bord Pleanála”, despite a lot of energy having been put into that project.

However, Deputy Connolly picked up on this and pointed out that An Bord Pleanála did not say ‘No’ to the ring road.

“The High Court said ‘No’ to the ring road because An Bord Pleanála acknowledged it failed utterly to consider climate change and our climate change obligations.

“That tells us something about An Bord Pleanála and the management that submitted such a plan.”

In the end, Minister Harris agreed that there needed to be a masterplan for Galway City.

“I suggest it is for the local authority to come up with a vision and then work with the Government to try to fund and implement that.”

Continue Reading