Thursday 8 December 2016

Heuston Station security man awarded €6,000 for dismissal after forcibly removing homeless drug addict from toilets

Gordon Deegan

Published 17/10/2016 | 02:30

The Labour Court has awarded €6,000 to a security guard who was fired after forcibly removing a homeless drug addict from the toilets at Heuston Station. Photo: Maria Farago
The Labour Court has awarded €6,000 to a security guard who was fired after forcibly removing a homeless drug addict from the toilets at Heuston Station. Photo: Maria Farago

The Labour Court has awarded €6,000 to a security guard who was fired after forcibly removing a homeless drug addict from the toilets at Heuston Station.

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The court has ordered Janos Szaraz's former employer, Brinks Ireland Ltd, to pay €6,000 to the man after finding that the company unfairly dismissed him over the incident.

Mr Szaraz was employed by Brinks Irelands Ltd at Heuston Station as part of its contract with Irish Rail.

He was fired after an investigation sparked by a member of the public who witnessed Mr Szaraz and a colleague forcibly removing the homeless man from the toilets.

During the investigation that took place on March 20, 2014, it was alleged that Mr Szaraz had used excessive and unnecessary force to eject the man.

CCTV footage of the incident showed Mr Szaraz and his colleague escorting the homeless man along the concourse of the train station.

No sanction was imposed on Mr Szraraz's colleague as he resigned from his post shortly after the incident.

Mr Szaraz was dismissed in June 2014 after the incident was investigated.

Homeless

The dismissal letter said that Brinks Ireland "finds your excessive use of physical contact with the member of the public to be extremely disproportionate. It is not acceptable that the use of physical motion is used as a result of using verbal abuse."

The letter said Mr Szaraz's actions had brought the company into disrepute. It stated: "It would be reasonable to believe that with your level of training and expertise in the industry, that you would have dealt with this situation in a more appropriate and professional manner. This conduct... is not tolerated by the company."

At the Labour Court, Siptu argued that the man had used reasonable force only "to remove a known drug user and aggressive beggar" from Heuston Station.

The union stated that Brinks Ireland and Irish Rail management at Heuston Station were fully aware of, condoned and encouraged the use of reasonable force in such circumstances.

Siptu also argued that other employees of Brinks were not disciplined for having used similar levels of reasonable force in the past and that the sanction of summary dismissal was excessive.

In its determination, the Labour Court stated that Brinks Ireland's decision to dismiss Mr Szaraz "was disproportionate and unfair".

Irish Independent

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