CIT must clarify €13k spend on President’s retirement

CIT must clarify €13k spend on President’s retirement

The Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has asked the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) to clarify why the college spent almost €13,000 to mark the retirement of its outgoing president.

As originally reported by the Evening Echo last month, freedom of information documents show that CIT spent €12,931.55 on events to mark the retirement of Dr Brendan Murphy, who left his position as president of the institution at the end of August. “I think the student hardship fund would have benefitted more from that €13,000 than a banquet to celebrate a retiring official,” PAC Chair Seán Fleming said.

Cork Institute of Technology previously defended the spending saying Dr Murphy had a long and distinguished career both as an educator and as an administrator and the retirement dinner represented a valuable opportunity to showcase CIT.

Due to the PAC’s ongoing concern and interest in spending by various third level institutions, CIT has previously been discussed by PAC on a number of occasions, Deputy Fleming said.

“I’ve been presented with an article from the Evening Echo saying that the Cork Institute of Technology spent almost €13,000 to mark the retirement of the outgoing president quite recently. This information has been provided under freedom of information.”

The Evening Echo article last month raised with the Public Accounts Committee.
The Evening Echo article last month raised with the Public Accounts Committee.

“There’s €5,000 on catering, €3,000 spent on providing tables, pipes and drapes and lots of other activities. So I propose we write to Cork Institute of Technology to give us a detailed explanation as to why they felt it was appropriate to spend €13,000 in view of the difficulties.”

On June 1, CIT held a governing body retirement dinner for the president at a cost of €11,091.55, according to the FOI documents.

This figure included €4,892.58 spent on catering for the event, €3,413.20 spent on providing tables, pipe and drapes and carpet for the dinner, as well as a further €1,617.45 spent on audiovisual setup.

A further €700 was also paid to CSM Amadeus Quartet Music as well as €260.68 for caretaker overtime and €206.64 for additional cleanup costs.

CIT also spent €1,840 on catering for a separate dinner for senior staff held to mark Dr Murphy’s retirement.

In a previous statement, CIT said: “Dr Brendan Murphy has had a long and distinguished career in Cork Institute of Technology, both as an educator and as an administrator.

“During his tenure as president, CIT has continued to develop into the nationally, and internationally, renowned institution it is today.”

“On the occasion of his retirement, CIT’s Governing Body hosted an evening to acknowledge his immense contribution, and commitment, to CIT, to Cork, and to the entire Munster region. Guests on the evening included not only CIT colleagues but representatives from civic life and the business community.

“The event represented a valuable opportunity to showcase CIT to these guests who have had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the development of CIT.”

Following the meeting of the PAC, a spokesperson for CIT said the institution notes the comments raised by Deputy Fleming and will now respond through the appropriate channels.

“CIT respects and understands the important role played by the Public Accounts Committee,” the spokesperson added.

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