University of Limerick doctor got €209,600 settlement

A doctor at University of Limerick (UL) received a €209,600 confidential settlement agreement to leave his post after 15 years, following allegations that he bullied another employee, which he rejects.

Dr Niall Cahill, who was medical director of the Student Health Centre at UL from 2000 to 2015, has confirmed he received a package of €185,000, plus his legal costs of €24,600, and a letter of reference from the university in August 2015.

Former UL president, Prof Don Barry, confirmed the payment of this sum to an “external provider”, whom he stated was accused of bullying, at the hearing of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into UL’s finances in March.

Dr Cahill claims he had been raising concerns around governance and employment matters in UL since 2010 when a number of complaints were made against him by one employee, and a package to leave the university was “foisted” upon him.

The practicing GP in Limerick city, who was not named by Prof Barry at the PAC, has decided to highlight his case in light of the new review into a series of allegations of misconduct at UL.

“I am guilty of nothing and I would state that in any court in the land. If my case was heard in the High Court or in any court, those findings by UL against me would not stand up to scrutiny. They were simply outrageous,” he told the Limerick Leader.

He made a protected disclosure to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) last year regarding his case, in light of an earlier review commissioned by the authority into allegations at UL

Dr Cahill has contacted the new president of UL, Dr Des Fitzgerald seeking a meeting “to further elaborate upon the dreadful and dehumanising experience that I was subjected to” at the university.

He further claimed that within UL there was a “cabal responsible for so much personal injury, harassment and intimidation”.

In response to Dr Cahill, Dr Fitzgerald said he was “deeply concerned for those who drew attention to these matters and for those who feel they have been mistreated”.

The payment to Dr Cahill is one of four six-figure severance payments to former UL employees currently in the public domain. Together, they total €811,437.

This does not include an offer of €117,558 between two suspended whistleblowers in UL’s finance department, which both women refused to accept.

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