The Teaching Council has banned a former primary school principal from teaching for the next 15 years.

Fionbar Ó Baoill, who was the principal of Kilnaleck National School in Co Cavan, was convicted in 2018 on a number of charges related to the theft of more than €200,000 from the school and from payments from the Department of Social Protection that were intended to pay for a school meals scheme.

Today, a hearing before a Teaching Council disciplinary committee agreed to strike Mr Ó Baoill off the teachers register for a period of 15 years. The decision must now be approved by the High Court.

The disciplinary panel found that the offences had involved prolonged, elaborate and sophisticated dishonesty and that, despite some mitigating circumstances offered, they were serious.

It found that such wrongdoing could never be accepted or excused and determined that Mr Ó Baoill was not fit to teach.

When convicted in 2018, Mr Ó Baoill was initially given a suspended sentence, but this was changed to 15 months in prison on appeal.

Mr Ó Baoill, who the fitness-to-teach hearing heard has an address in Ballybofey in Co Donegal, was not present at the hearing and was not represented.

Mr Ó Baoill was 28 when the offending began.

The disciplinary panel heard that he had pleaded guilty to the charges in court, and that at a preliminary hearing of the Teaching Council held earlier this year he had unreservedly accepted the allegations against him.