A Teaching Council fitness to practise inquiry has asked a teacher not to repeat conduct which saw him drinking alone at his on-school campus home with a 19-year-old student.

The request was made at the conclusion of a two-day inquiry which heard allegations of professional misconduct against the teacher.

Those allegations have not been upheld, and no sanction has been made against the teacher.

Counsel for the teacher said he agreed with the request and very much regretted what had happened.

The inquiry heard how events one night at a boarding school had led to disciplinary proceedings against the teacher who worked there.

He was accused of professional misconduct after he spent an evening drinking in his home with a student who later left the school grounds in a distressed state.

This morning, the inquiry heard a second account of the events of that evening, which were contained in an email the teacher sent to a colleague.

He said the student had consumed around three glasses of wine at his home and that he had drunk around six glasses.

He said the student may also have consumed more alcohol without him noticing.

In the email, the teacher said it had probably not been a good idea to drink with the student, but that he found that alcohol could be "a useful pastoral tool for older pupils".

The teacher said he had told the student that he had written to his father telling him that he expected the student to study hard.

He described how the student became agitated by this, that he tore his t-shirt and said he would do what he wanted.

He said the student stormed out shortly after this.

On Friday, the inquiry heard that gardaí later found the student on a nearby motorway.

Inquiry given number of references supportive of teacher

Giving evidence today, the teacher's colleague, who received this email and who also lives on the campus, said the man in question was a very organised and a very efficient teacher, who was popular with students.

The inquiry received a large number of references supportive of him from other teachers at the school, as well as students.

The hearing was told that the teacher's home was "right at the heart" of the school campus, just yards from where students lived, and, while teachers were told not to be alone with students, this advice could not be universal.

Today's teacher witness said that, sometimes, students needed to speak confidentially with teachers.

The teacher told the inquiry that, while the school's general position was that there should be no access to alcohol for students, in reality there were occasions when students did have access.

He described end of year events, and 18th birthday occasions, where students might have "a glass or prosecco" or where "three to four bottles of beer" would be available to each student.

The teacher who gave evidence this morning is a representative for the ASTI teacher's union for staff at the school.

However, the inquiry heard that the teacher at the centre of these allegations was not a member of the union.

The witness told the inquiry that, after the events in question, the teacher, who was extremely upset, looked to him for advice.

He said he appeared to be in shock and told him that, as a result of what happened, he had to leave the school and his home.

A second witness told the inquiry that, although the teacher at the centre of these allegations was off-duty on the evening in question, in reality, he would have been, as he put it, partially on-duty.

This witness, who works as a student supervisor at the school, said he had gone off-duty on that night at 10pm.

He agreed that no-one else was in charge of supervising students from that time and that students were expected to "look after themselves".

He said there was an understanding that "if something happened" the students could knock on the door of the teacher's home, which was just yards from the building that contained the boy's dorms.

The witness told the hearing that the teacher in question was "a very good" supervisor, who ran things very well and was popular with students.

Summing up, counsel for the inquiry said that, when all the events were taken on a cumulative basis, they amounted to professional misconduct.

Remy Farrell said the teacher had been drinking alone with a student until both were intoxicated and, when that student became distressed, the teacher's response was not to take steps to protect the student but to protect himself.

Counsel for the teacher said her client had admitted that he had been drinking with the student, but Mary-Paula Guinness said this was in the context of a school where drinking by students was clearly accepted.

She said there was a blurring of the lines at the school and that it was extraordinary and relevant that the teacher was expected to be on duty at all times.

Ms Guinness said the teacher accepted that what had happened had been a huge error of judgement but that this should not destroy what was an exemplary career.