Court blocks FAS bid to sack director
Greg Craig claims he is being made a 'scapegoat' by disgraced state agency
Published 14/09/2011 | 05:00
THE scandal-hit training agency FAS has been blocked by the High Court from taking any further steps to sack its former corporate affairs director Greg Craig.
Mr Craig, who was a key figure in the agency's multi-million euro financial controversy, was told to leave the company premises last week, following an internal audit.
But yesterday the High Court ordered FAS not to proceed further with the dismissal and not to make any disparaging remarks to the media about Mr Craig.
Mr Craig claims he was vindicated by a previous report by accountancy firm Mazars which examined how allegations of lavish overspending were handled at the agency.
His barrister, Oisin Quinn, told the court that Mr Craig, of Greenlea Grove, Terenure, Dublin, had been made a scapegoat by FAS and he was continually being offered up to the media.
Mr Craig, who was recently reassigned as health and safety director at FAS on a salary of more than €100,000, claims the state agency is seeking to avoid a commitment made previously to apologise to him and to pay him compensation for damage caused to him.
He told Mr Justice Paul Gilligan in an affidavit that he had locked himself in his office on Monday, September 5 last to study an internal report by Ignatius Lynam when FAS's assistant director Conor Dunne had pushed in the door and told him he was firing him with immediate effect.
He said Mr Dunne had gone on to state that he had spent the previous day, Sunday, reading the Lynam report and as a result he had been unable to watch the All-Ireland hurling final on television.
Mr Dunne had said he had studied the Lynam report and that it had established serious breaches of procedure, that he was going to fire him and ordered him to leave the premises and hand in his keys.
Mr Craig told the court he had been so shocked by what had happened that he had taken a diabetic "hypo attack".
Dunne had told him: "I have got advice and I can dismiss you immediately, so I am. You are not to get the opportunity to apply the grievance procedure."
He had told Mr Dunne he wanted to gather his files and papers, including the Lynam report, but Mr Dunne had insisted he leave immediately and only take his personal belongings.
He had threatened that if necessary he would get the gardai to remove him from the premises.
Mr Justice Gilligan granted Mr Craig the injunction and the matter will be back before the court again next Tuesday when FAS will have a chance to put its side of the case.