NUI Galway Says Lecturer's Homophobic Tweets Were Made In Personal Capacity

Galway University says it considers the case of lecturer who released a homophobic tweet to be closed.

The exterior of NUI Galway

NUI Galway has said that it won’t be taking any action against Professor Sean Leen after he posted a tweet labeling same-sex marriage as “immoral”

Despite encountering fierce criticisms from students, fellow faculty and the students union, a spokesperson for NUI Galway said that the views expressed in the tweets don’t reflect the university’s and that as they were made in a personal capacity the matter was now closed.

Michelle Ní Chróinín, Press & information officer at NUI Galway said that, “The view expressed was personal and is not affiliated with the University.” GCN asked for clarification around social media guidelines issued to staff, alongside the latitude afforded to them to post prejudicial remarks into the public domain, which undermine the university’s policies.

“As per the University Code of Conduct, NUI Galway staff must not make any public comment which purports to represent the views of the university or represent themselves as being spokespersons for the University, unless expressly authorised to do so. In this case, the view expressed was personal and not affiliated with the University,” Ní Chróinín said.

The university did not respond to a request to clarify if the University’s position was that staff could post anything, be it racism, homophobia or sexism into the public domain so long as it was done “in a personal capacity”.

Professor Leen, a senior lecturer in the Mechanical and Engineering school, and also the head of discipline in the school tweeted his reaction to the decision by the FAI to incorporate the Pride colours into their jersey, calling it a disgrace while labeling same-sex marriage as “immoral”.

Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh, President of the Students Union at NUIG condemned the tweet saying: “I think that the response to the tweet by Prof. Leen is an indication as to how the community here at NUI Galway will not stand by and allow for such derogatory comments to be made.

“Our campus and our community here at NUI Galway is one that strives for equality for all and we will not sit by the wayside when these values are undermined by any member of staff or student.”

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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