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Sunday 31 August 2014

Official bullied at Lesotho embassy awarded €40,000

Allison Bray

Published 08/12/2012 | 05:00

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THE former trade and tourism attache for the Embassy of Lesotho has been awarded more than €40,000 in compensation after claiming she was bullied into quitting her job.

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A tribunal found that Claire Corcoran was constructively dismissed after she told how she felt there was no option but to resign her €54,000-a-year post.

Ms Corcoran, from Baldoyle in north Dublin, said she quit in June 2010 after she was "bullied" by the embassy's counsellor and first secretary.

Ms Corcoran told the tribunal that a year before she resigned, the then-ambassador Mannete Ramaili was under pressure from her government to find a job for the niece of Lesotho's chief justice, who was living in Ireland.

Ms Corcoran told the tribunal that she wrote a memo to Ms Ramaili in March 2010, saying she felt bullied by the embassy's first secretary, Nkhotha Machachamise, and counsellor Phakiso Paelpoma.

But she claimed her complaint was "blatantly ignored".

She also told the hearing that after getting a performance appraisal from Mr Paelpoma in June 2010, in which her overall performance was deemed unsatisfactory, "she felt her professional work over four years had been totally disregarded".

"This was the final straw for her and she had no option but to resign from her position," the tribunal said in its ruling.

The tribunal ruled that Ms Corcoran acted reasonably by resigning.

It also noted that embassy officials declined to give evidence on their own behalf.

It awarded Ms Corcoran €40,495.26 in compensation as the most appropriate remedy under the Unfair Dismissals Act.

Irish Independent

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