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Sunday 20 August 2017

Ogle 'told colleague he didn't wish to destroy him'

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Anne Marie Wash

A prominent figure in the Apollo House campaign warned a colleague against working with other homelessness campaigners, adding he didn't wish to "destroy" him, it is claimed.

Keith Troy, a former caretaker at the Unite union, alleged that Home Sweet Home co-founder Brendan Ogle told him he should "watch his back" and did not want him associating with deputy Bríd Smith of the Anti Austerity Alliance.

Mr Troy, also a homelessness activist, has been awarded €25,000 by the Workplace Relations Commission after taking an unfair dismissal case against the union.

However, in her decision in which the parties are not named, adjudication Officer Penelope McGrath made no adverse findings against Mr Ogle.

Mr Troy said his chief aim is to get his job as a caretaker back at the union's headquarters on Middle Abbey Street in Dublin.

He said he suffered financially after the post was advertised and given to another candidate following an interview with a panel that included Mr Ogle, after he had worked at the union for 20 months.

In a submission to the WRC, Mr Troy said he was recruited on the recommendation of a senior Unite officer in May 2014.

He claimed he was told the job would need to get the "green light" from the union's central office in London, but that was presented as a formality.

But when permission came from London in February last year, the position was openly advertised and went to someone else.

Mr Troy was surprised to find the interview panel included Mr Ogle as he had a number of conflicts with him in the latter part of 2015.

In its submission, the union denied Mr Troy was unfairly dismissed and said his contract expired without being renewed and he was aware of the fixed term nature of his position at all times.

Ms McGrath said there was no evidence to support the fact Mr Troy was on notice that his job once confirmed would be in jeopardy.

In a statement, Unite said it notes and accepts the recent decision of the Rights Commissioner in relation to the unfair dismissal of a Mr Keith Troy.

Irish Independent

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