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Summer course hosted at Kildare boarding school fails to pay teachers up to €10k in wages

One of the teachers says their treatment is “a disgrace”.

The summer classes lasted for three weeks.
The summer classes lasted for three weeks.
Image: Shutterstock/Vereshchagin Dmitry

A LANGUAGE SCHOOL that held summer courses at a Kildare boarding school has failed to pay teachers three months after the courses finished.

Horizon International Languages provides residential classes in French and Spanish for Leaving and Junior Cert students, as well as English language classes.

It owes up to €10,000 to the teachers from this summer’s courses.

The courses ran for three weeks and were hosted at the prestigious Clongowes Wood College but were run independently of Clongowes.

“Horizons International Languages hired out the school premises during the summertime when the college was closed at end of school term. They were totally independent of the school,” Clongowes said in a statement.

Teachers at the courses taught students for six hours a day during the week and also on Saturdays.

Students were resident at the college for the duration of the summer course and were also involved in activities when not in class.

Literature from Horizon shows that their language courses range from €465 for one week to €1,200 for three weeks.

Five female teachers were employed to teach the students at the summer course and several activity leaders were also employed.

Spanish teacher at the course Maria Emilia Carrizo told TheJournal.ie that she was to be paid €500-a-week for her work but that this has not been paid since the course finished in July.

“I have worked three years in Italy, seven years in Argentina and have never ever had anything like this before. It’s a disgrace and a big disappointment,” she explains.

The teacher says she and the other teachers have been trying to contact Horizon to receive their payment but have been unable to get in touch recently.

At the beginning of September, the company’s owner and director Frank Noone emailed the teachers apologising for the delay in payment and assuring them they would be paid soon.

Part of the email read:

We are fully committed to pay you in full in the very near future and at the absolute latest by the end of this month. In reality I am confident that we will be in a position to make your payment within the next 10 working days so apologies again as I know how difficult it must be for you without your summer earnings in your account.

When contacted by TheJournal.ie last month, Noone confirmed that the wages had not been paid and said this was down to a “cash flow problem at our end”.

He said that the company had been “working hard to sort it out” but that he believed about €10,000 was owed in back wages connected to the course.

“I have paid them some, they would have got some of their wages. They would have got their paperwork to claim back tax or whatever. It’s just there’s a balance of money that I said I’d have paid by the very latest at the end of this month (September),” he said.

Carrizo said yesterday that she was paid €200 during the course and confirmed that the teachers were sent their wage slip and P45 but that their wages have still not been paid.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie yesterday, Noone confirmed that the wages had not been paid and said that “the company isn’t in great shape”.

Noone said that he would “love to be able to say” when the staff would be paid but is unable to.

“I’m still having problems, it is my intention to pay everybody, to pay the staff,” he said.

Accounts filed for the Westport-based Interactive Languages Ltd at the end of 2016 showed the company was running at a deficit of €288,825.

Noone said this deficit has come from “historical losses”.

“It comes from historical losses coming forward that I thought I would be able to trade out of. It’s like any company in trouble, and we’re in trouble,” he said.

Read: Here’s how Leaving Cert students did in French, Russian and Japanese >

Read: Ireland’s school lollipop people are getting ‘conflict management’ training >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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