Sunday 20 April 2014

Ex-rugby star fights dismissal from Leinster coaching job

Ex Ireland and Leinster player Reggie Corrigan pictured at the Employments Appeals Tribunal, Adelaide Road, Dublin today . Pic STEPHEN COLLINS/Collins Photos
Ex Ireland and Leinster player Reggie Corrigan pictured at the Employments Appeals Tribunal, Adelaide Road, Dublin

FORMER Irish international Reggie Corrigan has taken a case for unfair dismissal against the Leinster branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) after he lost his job due to budget cuts.

The forward, who retired in 2007 after playing 138 times for Leinster, was made the province's scrum coach in 2009.

In 2010, after restructuring following Joe Schmidt's appointment as head coach, Mr Corrigan took up the position of scrum coach development officer for the domestic game, with a salary reduction of €20,000.

In April 2012 the former prop forward was told his contract wouldn't be renewed because of financial restraints, an Employment Appeals Tribunal heard.

Counsel for Mr Corrigan, Frank Drumm, told the tribunal, chaired by Margaret Levey, that it was in breach of the unfair dismissals act.

He said there was no fixed-term contract and Mr Corrigan was never served with an RP50 and therefore "by definition there can't be a redundancy".

Philip Lawlor, domestic rugby manager, told the tribunal that reduced funding from the IRFU meant the Leinster branch had to bear many extra costs.


However, he said: "The crux of the issue was, we were well-manned . . . and no longer had a need for his services.

"We were overcrowded. We had three people doing two people's jobs," he said.

He was referring to Greg Feek, who held the position of scrum coach, and John Fogarty, who was elite player development officer.

He also said that the Leinster branch moving into new premises in UCD and the fact that the team was about to win a second European Cup at that time didn't have much of an impact.

"It didn't change the three-for-two situation we were in," he said.

He said there wasn't any alternative for Mr Corrigan, who he described as "well-regarded by the rugby fraternity".

The case was adjourned until May 30, when Mr Lawlor is expected to be cross-examined by Mr Drumm.

Irish Independent

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