Northern Ireland news

Belfast school principal apologises after plagiarising article

Our Lady and St Patrick's College principal Dermot Mullan apologised for copying an article without credit
Gareth McKeown

THE principal of an award-winning Belfast Catholic grammar has apologised after copying an article "word for word", which appeared in the school's newsletter.

Dermot Mullan from Our Lady and St Patrick's College in Knock was accused over the weekend of copying a blog post by author Tom Rogers for a school publication.

Mr Rogers, a history teacher and columnist for the Times Education Supplement, made the claim on his Twitter page, posting a picture of the newspaper alongside his original blog post.

Mr Rogers wrote: "This head teacher decided to copy one of my blogs word for word for his own school newsletter. I particularly like his signature and picture at the end. Hope his students have got the message - plagiarism is A ok!"

Responding through the official Our Lady and St Patrick's College Twitter page, Mr Mullan admitted he had failed to reference the source of the article in the school newspaper and apologised.

"Tom, we have never met in person or spoken and I have done you a wrong. I apologise. I should have attributed your article. I did have the same experience as a student. I would like to apologise in person if I had your contact details," he wrote.

Accepting the apology, Mr Rogers added that it was was a "terrible example" to set for students.

"Thanks for getting in touch. Apology accepted. I was very surprised you'd do this though, its probably a breach of copyright but beyond that, a terrible example to students about plagiarism," he wrote.

Our Lady and St Patrick's College was founded in September 1985, following the closures of the Sacred Heart of Mary Grammar School, Holywood and St Patrick's College, Knock.

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