$A160,103 payoff for Opus Dei row Irish don

An academic investigated for using her lectures to promote Opus Dei beliefs has received a "golden handshake" of almost $A160,103, according to a report in yesterday's Irish Independent.

CLICK HEREThe paper says former lecturer Geraldine O'Connor will also get an enhanced pension from college authorities.

UCD had ordered an inquiry into allegations that she told students it was compulsory to attend a talk given by an Opus Dei member last year.

She taught in UCD for 26 years.

The inquiry was set up to investigate a number of complaints against the former lecturer in the School of Diagnostic Imaging. They include complaints that:

* She misused her position to advance her religious beliefs.
* She required students to attend a lecture in Glenard University Residence (run by Opus Dei).
* She took a note of who was there and suggested student absence might be academically prejudicial. The inquiry told her the complaints called her level of professional competence into question.

The students also alleged she regularly quoted the late Pope John Paul II in lectures and referred to the inspiration she felt from his struggle with Parkinson's disease.

The paper alleges that on another occasion she asked students in class if they believed in life after death. When one student said 'No' the former lecturer is alleged to have said "you won't get a first unless you believe".

100,000 payoff for Opus Dei row don (Irish Independent 25/10/05 - free registration required)

26 Oct 2005