A boarding school teacher allowed a distressed student to drink wine at his on-campus home and failed to take action when he later discovered that the student was absent from his dorm, a Teaching Council fitness to practise hearing has been told.

The hearing was told that the student, who was 19, was later found by gardaí on a nearby motorway where he was attempting to hail a taxi.

It is alleged that the teacher did not alert anyone to the fact that the student had left. He is accused of professional misconduct.

The hearing was told that the teacher in question also had duties related to the supervision of students.

It heard that on the night in question, in November 2016, the student went to the on-campus home of the teacher. The teacher was off-duty and was drinking wine.

The hearing was told that there were difficulties between the teacher and the student, and the student had gone to the teacher apparently with the aim of resolving those difficulties.

They were both drinking, the student was distressed, the teacher has admitted that he became angry and that after the student tore his own T-shirt there was what he described as physical but not inappropriate contact.

Later that night - after midnight - the student, who is not Irish, was found by gardaí on a nearby motorway, in what they say was a distressed state, saying he wanted to get a taxi to an airport to go home.

The student did fly home the next day.

WhatsApp messages between the teacher and the student, sent on that day, were read out. In the messages the teacher said repeatedly that he was sorry.

He asked the student to "fix things". "I just got angry and upset you," he said. "Please say we were drunk and had a fight." The messaging ended when the pupil's father intercepted them.

Lawyers for the teacher have said the allegations have nothing to do with his role as a teacher. They said the man was a teacher, but was also employed as a supervisor for which he was paid separately.

They said the matters complained of related entirely to his duties and were a matter entirely between the school and the teacher.

The teacher admits that the student had two or three glasses of wine but his counsel told the hearing that alcohol was part of school life among older students.

The lawyer also said underage drinking was condoned "at some level" by the school. She also said the school gave older students "considerable leeway" regarding bedtimes and that it would not have been a matter of high concern that the student was absent from his dorm.

Lawyer Mary-Paula Guinness for the teacher said he had been disciplined and that his professional life had been more or less destroyed.

In a written statement to the council the teacher outlined difficulties between himself and the student over the student's work levels.

He said he was concerned that the student may have been taking the behaviour modification drug Ritalin illegally and that he asked the student about this on the night in question and whether he had stolen the drug.

He says the student became upset and angry. He says the student tore his own t-shirt and that at that stage there was physical contact between the two, "but nothing inappropriate".

Later that night, after the student had left, the teacher checked the dorm and discovered that the student was not there.

The hearing continues next week.