herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Doherty's 'civil engineer' CV claim has shaky foundation

SINN Fein's Pearse Doherty dropped out of two separate civil engineering courses, it has emerged.

The party's poster boy was in hot water last week after wrongly claiming he was a "civil engineer by profession".

He explained that he had completed two years out of a three-year course at Dublin Institute of Technology. But it has now emerged that he also dropped out of a second course at Letterkenny IT.

After leaving DIT, he worked for a time before returning to Donegal and enrolling in another engineering course, which he then quit to run in the 2002 election.

He is now trying to retain the Dail seat that he won just last November in the Donegal South West by-election.

After last week's controversy, Mr Doherty changed his profile on an official Sinn Fein website as well as the Oireachtas webpage and personal profile pages.

Having completed two out of the necessary three years to qualify as a civil engineer, he is entitled to describe himself as a civil engineer technician.

"I've always been upfront. I've told people in many interviews that I left college after two years, I went to work in the field, I moved back to Donegal, I actually enrolled in LYIT in Letterkenny," he said.

"I didn't complete the course because I stood in the General Election of 2002. The course I was doing was civil engineer, and after two years of that course you get a qualification as a civil engineer technician."

Explaining his educational background on Highland Radio he said: "My profile has that I am a civil engineer. I am a civil engineer technician."

His constituency rival, Frank McBrearty, refused to comment on the website gaffe but said: "Nothing surprises me about Irish politicians, politics or society these days." And Fianna Fail Senator Brian O Domhnaill said it was "certainly imperative that the information you are putting on your literature and online is accurate".

Mr Doherty said his competitors were using a minor mistake to try to tarnish his reputation.

kdoyle@herald.ie

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