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More Developments In CIT President's 'Dolphin Ice Sculpture' Retirement Party

More Developments In CIT President's 'Dolphin Ice Sculpture' Retirement Party

Cork Institute of Technology is being asked why two retirement parties for former president Brendan Murphy cost €13,000 of taxpayers money and how Murphy himself signed off on half of the budget.

The Higher Education Authority is also seeking “a full explanation” from CIT after a letter to the Dáil's Public Accounts Commitee from CIT’s acting president Barry O’Connor showed that Mr Murphy approved the June event that cost just over €11,000.

Speaking to Seán Ó Foghlú about the incident Fianna Fáil TD Marc McSharry suggested that there should be protocols in place when funding retirement parties:

Would it not be important... that when you’re giving out this money it would be reasonable to say: ‘Look, by all means, buy a glass of wine but maybe not dish out 13 grand of the taxpayers’ money to acknowledge the greatness of somebody’s contribution.

Mr Ó Foghlú said it would not be usual for departments or agencies to have retirement parties for staff although he said it is appropriate when a senior leader is retiring after a long time in the job:

However, there would be a recognition that when a senior leader of an organisation is retiring after a number of years... I would think it’s something that’s appropriate to be celebrated.

One of the most extravagant aspects of the banquet held in Murphy's honour was an ice sculpture of a dolphin.

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Here is a list of the expenses that Murphy signed off on:

  • Catering that cost €4,892
  • Musical entertainment costs of €700
  • The €1,840 cost of a separate retirement dinner attended by 46 senior staff

It's nice to go out with a bang.

H/T: Irish Examiner

See Also: Outrage At Irish College That Spent €13,000 On Banquet While Students Struggle

Eoin Lyons

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