Friday 30 September 2016

Postman sacked for allegedly 'reposting' mail fails to get An Post job back

Ray Managh

Published 23/09/2015 | 12:52

Gary Boyle had, until recently, been a postman in the Coolock, Dublin, area
Gary Boyle had, until recently, been a postman in the Coolock, Dublin, area

A postman, who was given the sack for allegedly “re-posting” mail he was supposed to deliver, has failed in a bid to have the High Court order An Post to give him his job back.

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Mr Justice Max Barrett said in a reserved judgment today that 31-year-old postman Gary Boyle had emphatically denied the allegation.

He refused him orders for injunctions reinstating him to his old job;  compelling An Post to pay his salary pending determination of wrongful dismissal proceedings and a direction preventing An Post from appointing a replacement.

Judge Barrett said that because of the mandatory nature of Mr Boyle’s application the court had to consider if he had shown “at least that he has a strong case that he is likely to succeed at the hearing of the action.”

He had failed to establish that he had and because of this his case fell at the very first hurdle and from that stumble he could not recover.

Judge Barrett said postmen and postwomen were important pillars of community life entrusted with the safe carriage and delivery of all manner of business and private correspondence.

Mr Boyle had, until recently, been a postman in the Coolock, Dublin, area and had been dismissed for alleged “re-posting” of mail.

“In other words An Post has formed the view that instead of delivering certain post that was entrusted to him for safe delivery, Mr Boyle re-posted it in a letter-box close to his home,” the judge said.

An Post had considered Boyle’s misbehaviour to have been so bad as to merit termination of his employment for misconduct.  The company had, following an investigation and disciplinary process, paid him all entitlements on the ordinary termination of his contract.

Judge Barrett said Mr Boyle claimed An Post had not adhered to fair procedures and, as a consequence, he had been wrongfully dismissed.  An Post had claimed it was a case for the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Mr Boyle had claimed people had been saying possibly untrue things about him and, while doubtless unpleasant, today’s news quickly became yesterday’s story.

To grant the injunctions he sought would cause great prejudice to the operation and functioning of An Post’s business in that arrangements had already been made to deal with its workforce requirements following Mr Boyle’s initial suspension and ultimate dismissal.

“It is never nice to believe that one has been wronged and Mr Boyle clearly considers that he has been seriously wronged,” Judge Barrett said.  “His courage in running the financial risk to which he stands exposed by coming to court is testament to the strength of his conviction in this regard.”

He was not entitled to the injunctive reliefs he sought.  The proceedings was adjourned to the new law term in October.

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