O'Toole v Right of Place Buiding Project Ltd

JurisdictionIreland
CourtEmployment Appeal Tribunal (Ireland)
Judgment Date17 Jan 2007
Judgment citation (vLex)[2007] 1 JIEC 1701

Employment Appeals Tribunal

EAT: O'Toole (claimant) v Right of Place Buiding Project Ltd (respondent)

Representation:

Claimant

Mr Fergus Long, Ronan Daly Jermyn, Solicitors, 12 South Mall, Cork

Respondent

Mr Eamon Murray, Eamon Murray & Co., Solicitors, 6/7 Sheares Street, Cork

Represented the first named respondent

O'Flynn Exhams, Solicitors, 58 South Mall, Cork

Represented the second named respondent

Abstract:

Employment - Termination of employment - Unfair dismissal - Whether claimant contributing to decision to dismiss - Whether claimant unfairly dismissed - Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2001

EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL

CASE NO.

MN822/2005

WT374/2005

UD1083/2005

CLAIMS OF:

Sylvester O'Toole, 3 Roxboro Court, Midleton, County

Cork

against

Right Of Place Building Project Limited Trading As

Right/Second Chance, 100–101 Lower Glanmire Road, Cork

City Of Cork VEC, Administrative Offices, Emmet Place,

Cork

under

MINIMUM NOTICE AND TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT ACTS, 1973 TO 2001

ORGANISATION OF WORKING TIME ACT, 1997

UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2001

I certify that the Tribunal

(Division of Tribunal)

Chairman:

Mr L. Ó Catháin

Members:

Mr M. Forde

Mr D. McEvoy

heard this claim at Cork on 1st September 2006 and 8th November 2006

Facts the claimant claimed that he was unfairly dismissed by the respondent after he wrote a report which was critical of the manner in which the respondent was being run.

Held in awarding the claimant Eur2,000 under the Unfair Dismissals Acts that the respondent was unfair in the application of its disciplinary procedures in accordance with the terms of his contract of employment but that the actions of the claimant largely contributed to the decision of the respondent to terminate his employment.

The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:-
1

It was agreed at the outset that the second named respondent was not a party to these proceedings.

2

The respondent company/organisation was set up give assistance to survivors of the industrial school system.

Respondent's case:
3

The project leader in his evidence told the Tribunal of his background and the fact that he was a survivor of the industrial school system. It had always been his intention to form a group where he and others who had left these institutions could meet and talk about what had happened through justice and healing in partnership with church and state. This voluntary organisation was founded in 1999 with six bases in Ireland together with the United Kingdom and the headquarters was in Cork. The existence of this organisation kick started the discussion surrounding abuse at the industrial schools. Government funding was provided through the Department of Education and the VEC to rent premises in 1999. He felt that people returning to Ireland should have a drop-in house. Some of these people had social problems and limited accommodation was provided for the homeless. Amongst their services they provided education and counselling. Over the preceding three years they housed twenty-nine people. The claimant was one of their first guests. While witness was not a professional he was instrumental in getting this organisation off the ground. Eighteen employees were paid by the organisation and one was paid by FAS. There were also thirty-five volunteers throughout the country.

4

The claimant came to the organisation in 2002 from Galway. He was resident at their facility for a year and he was then housed by the organisation in Midleton, Co. Cork. He worked twenty hours per week as receptionist at their office in Cork and the funding was provided by FAS for a three year period. As receptionist the claimant was the first point of contact with the organisation. A report dated the 1st April 2005 was written by the claimant in relation to the running of the organisation. Witness was only made aware of the existence of such report when he was called to a meeting with an official from the Department of Education. The normal procedure for such meetings would be to have somebody accompany him however on this occasion he was told the matter was of a sensitive nature and he agreed to go alone. When he was told that the claimant wrote the report he was gob-smacked. It was agreed to have a further meeting however this did not take place. Witness was handed a copy of the report and came back to the office. He was extremely hurt on reading the contents of the report. The claimant was on duty and witness told him he was aware of the report and could not understand why the claimant had not come to him. His view was...

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