The former head of a school in Co Armagh has distanced herself from a maths teacher who harassed staff in a cover-up after helping students cheat on exams.
r Pat McGuckian said she was “completely caught off guard” by Patrick Hollywood’s “deceit and corruption.”
Hollywood, 41, has admitted 19 charges related to his time as a teacher at St. Patrick’s High School in Keady, including molesting Dr. McGuckian.
In some threatening letters to colleagues, he warned against violence and claimed he had the “full support of the IRA volunteers,” Newry Crown Court was told.
The defendant pleaded guilty to seven counts of threatening to kill, six of molestation, four of attempted intimidation and isolated counts of forgery and causing another person to fear violence against them.
All crimes were committed between December 31, 2016 and December 1, 2018.
dr McGuckian resigned from her post in April 2018, citing what she described as a “vicious campaign of bullying and harassment,” which included receiving a series of malicious and anonymous letters.
She said she would now address her concerns about a statement made on behalf of the defendant in Newry Crown Court on July 4.
dr McGuckian denied absolutely any allegation by Hollywood that she was either directly or indirectly involved in his actions or condoned his actions. Copies of a statement to this effect were sent to the court and the prosecutor’s office.
dr McGuckian said she remained silent to allow the Hollywood trial to be completed.
“To [his] “In my admission of guilt to the harassment charge against me, there are a few points that need clarification,” she added.
“He was a man I trusted absolutely. I was blown away by the level of deceit and corruption by someone who I thought held up to the high standards of professionalism and integrity that I have held to throughout my 34 year career in education.
“Until this shameful sequence of events, my integrity as an educator was unquestioned; My reputation was impeccable.
“It is deeply unfortunate that misconduct occurred during my tenure at St. Patrick’s High School.”
dr McGuckian said independent research conducted by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools in March 2018 and the CCEA Review Board in April 2018 was in her favour. She added: “I would also like to record that I have requested an external investigation. I take responsibility for the missed opportunities to expose Mr. Hollywood’s math misconduct, for which I was sanctioned by the CCEA.
“Being a teacher means not only imparting information, but much more important character building.
“Mr. Hollywood’s willful misconduct, followed by its vicious campaign of harassment, represents, in my view, the opposite of what a teacher should be.
“I have been working in Education Research at Queen’s University, Belfast since early retirement and completed my PhD in Education on 2nd July.
“I hope that with my knowledge and my voice I can make a positive contribution to education for the benefit of all young people.”
dr McGuckian added that now that she’s set the record straight, she wants to continue.
https://www.independent.ie/news/armagh-cheat-teacher-behind-sinister-threats-blindsided-me-says-former-principal-41820388.html Armagh Cheating Teacher Behind Sinister Threats Blinded Me, Says Former Headmaster