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Update from College Secretary and Director, College Health Service to students and staff

11 June 2021

Dear students and colleagues

Yesterday the milestone of one million people in Ireland being fully vaccinated was reached. Today eight hospitals have no inpatients with COVID-19 as the number of patients in the hospital system with coronavirus has fallen to its lowest in nine months. These developments, along with the reopening of the country with the easing of restrictions, are good to see.   

New term times

Teaching for Semester 1 will begin on Monday 13 September 2021 for undergraduate and postgraduate students except for first year undergraduates who will start on 27 September. This delay is required to allow time to process CAO applications in light of the revised timetable for issuing Leaving Certificate results. To find out other key dates, please read the Vice-Provost/CAO’s email here.

We understand that the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science will bring plans for the sector for the coming academic year to Cabinet next week. This will allow us to provide more guidelines to our students and staff.

Interim remote/hybrid working arrangements

HR is developing an interim policy regarding remote/hybrid working arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year. Focus groups across the Faculties and Divisions, and consultations with trade unions, are feeding into this interim policy which will be finalised in August.

In the meantime, the position is that while we remain under public health restrictions. Schools/Services should refer to their Resumption for Activity Plans, within which is set out the attendance of staff on site at the various Levels 1-5. We do not know what level of restrictions will be in place for August/September, however, it is expected that some restrictions will continue. In this regard, the Resumption for Activity Plan is the mechanism under which staff are returned to work on site e.g. in pods, rotated days etc.

Thank you for your ongoing support in continuing to adhere to public health guidelines of restricting social gatherings, social distancing, wearing face coverings and hand washing, etc. It is making a difference.

Stay safe. Stay well. Bígí slán agus sábháilte.

Kind regards,

John Coman, Secretary to the College
Seán Ó Comáin, Rúnaí an Choláiste

Dr David McGrath, Director, College Health Service
An Dr Daithi Mac Craith, Stiúrthóir, Seirbhís Sláinte an Choláiste