Angered Dublin City University (DCU) students have organised a petition against the removal of Longford man Enda Fitzpatrick as the university’s Athletics Academy Director.
Fitzpatrick a former 1,500 metre international and sub-four minute miler has held the role since 2003 and built DCU into an international powerhouse.
Before Fitzpatrick’s arrival DCU had never won a varsity title but has since won a 190 titles and seen athletes such as three-time Olympian and two time European cross country champion Fionnuala McCormack through its doors.
Fitzpatrick has been in the position with DCU on a secondment basis, having previously worked as a teacher in Clontarf and has seen DCU athletics club move form 18 members to 115.
Angry DCU Athletics club members released a below, with the intention of signing a petition to DCU President Brian MacCraith.
“It is with great disappointment and deep disgust for us to hear of the very sad termination of our esteemed Athletics director Enda Fitzpatrick by DCU hierarchy last week.
The loss of his support to DCU athletics club is unquantifiable given his commitment to his role over the past 13 years where he has gone well beyond the call of duty to support new, current and past students. When Enda arrived in DCU in 2003, 18 athletes competed for DCU Athletics throughout Irish University competitions, this figure has since grown significantly to see 115 athletes wearing the DCU singlet throughout the 2018/19 season. As a result of Enda’s commitment and contribution to the DCU Athletics Academy, DCU athletics has went from having never won any Irish university athletics titles pre 2002 to now holding 190 team titles. The 2018/19 season has been DCU’s athletics most successful yet winning both the men’s and women’s national titles at the road relays, cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field championships.
By signing this petition, we are reaching out for your signature to offer your support to keep Enda in DCU as Athletics Academy Director. Enda has stood by us all during his term as Athletics Director to date, and now it is our turn to stand by him with the same determination and single mindedness that he has demonstrated with total commitment to reverse this decision.“
“’INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE’”
A statement to the Irish Times by Dublin City University reads; “It is not the practice of DCU to comment on affairs relating to individual cases, however inaccurate commentary has circulated regarding the role of the Head of the Athletics Academy at the University.
“For 13 years this role has been filled on the basis of a secondment for the school year, renewable annually by request to the Department of Education and Skills. In the context of the current teacher shortages at second level, however, the Department of Education has issued a circular regulating the Secondment Schemes for Teachers (0029/2018).
“Consistent with this national policy, the Department has informed Dublin City University that, regrettably, secondments which have existed over a period of many years will not be renewed in August.
“In the light of this directive, DCU will create a full-time permanent position as Head of the Athletics Academy which will be publicly advertised in the coming weeks.”