Saturday 23 September 2017

Conductor wouldn't co-operate with bullying probe, court told

Kevin Keane

A CONDUCTOR who made a complaint of bullying against the dean of Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral, refused to release her evidence of the allegations to an investigator hired by the church.

The internal church investigation into the allegations made by Judy Martin failed to uphold her complaint, an Employment Appeals Tribunal has heard.

The inquiry has also heard that Ms Martin described the dean as "power crazed".

Ms Martin, who was once described as "the greatest conductor of her generation" is pursuing a claim of constructive dismissal from her role as the director of music at Christ Church.

She alleges management at the cathedral forced her to resign in January 2011 by subjecting her to bullying and harassment, by unjustifiably changed her working conditions and by effectively demoting her from her position.

The dean of Christ Church, the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, denies the allegations.

Yesterday, Ms Martin gave her testimony about a meeting she and her assistant Tristan Russcher had with Rev Dunne in May 2010 concerning the perilous state of the cathedral's finances.

Ms Martin told the inquiry that she was instructed to tell her choir later that evening about the situation and the various options for reducing costs.

However, a barrister representing Rev Dunne, Mr Michael MacNamee, said his client would testify that this was not the case.

"Instead of engaging with these cuts, you went to the choir and told them they were all going to be fired," he said.

Mr MacNamee also suggested to Ms Martin that she had caused a great deal of fear, hysteria and publicity.

When informed by Mr MacNamee that Rev Dunne will tell the tribunal that he did not give her permission to speak to the choir, Ms Martin replied, "he's lying I'm afraid".

The hearing adjourned yesterday until January 15, when it will hear testimony from a number of other witnesses, including Rev Dunne.

Irish Independent

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