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Fitzgerald to step down as UL President due to COVID-19 concerns

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*Dr Des Fitzgerald

President of the University of Limerick, Dr Des Fitzgerald is stepping down from the role.

Staff and students were informed on Tuesday afternoon of Fitzgerald’s resignation.

“Unfortunately this virus will directly impact my ability to serve the university and limit my ability to fully engage once we get our community back onto the campus,” Fitzgerald said. He cautioned that COVID-19 will force universities across the world to examine their business and academic models.

Appointed President of UL in 2016, he took on the role in May of 2017 and had completed three years of a ten year term. The sixty six year old said he was “particularly proud of UL’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, in recognising its gravity early”.

Fitzgerald maintained that “important progress” was made on tackling controversial issues “which predated my appointment which were set out in the Thorn Report, the Deloitte Internal Audit and the report of the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG)”. He added, “I am glad that during my period in office most of the issues detailed in the above reports have been dealt with and their recommendations implemented”.

UL have confirmed that Dr Fitzgerald will his term “later this year”. The Governing Authority of the University (GA) will commence an international recruitment process to select a replacement.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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