Friday 20 October 2017

Verwoerd files case on UNICEF dismissal

Melanie Verwoerd
Melanie Verwoerd
Director Melanie Verwoerd pictured with Irish rugby star Donncha O' Callaghan in her role as UNICEF Ireland Executive
Melanie with her former partner, the late Gerry Ryan
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

MELANIE Verwoerd has filed her unfair-dismissal case papers against UNICEF Ireland with the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT).

The 43-year-old confirmed last night that her case against the board of the charity was filed at the end of the last week.

Ms Verwoerd, the charity's former chief, has claimed she was dismissed because of her relationship with the late RTE broadcaster Gerry Ryan.

Due to a backlog of cases at the EA, it could take up to a year for a full hearing to take place.

Ms Verwoerd's dismissal in July caused a war of words.

The charity issued a statement denying that it fired her by email and claimed she conditionally accepted a payout worth two years' salary, which had been cashed. Ms Verwoerd denied those claims.

It is understood that comments made by Ms Verwoerd about her late partner to the Irish Independent at the launch of a UNICEF report on June 7 brought matters to a head.

However, she only responded to questions about her relationship with Mr Ryan after she spoke at length about the findings of the UNICEF report.

"I am extremely sad to leave UNICEF. It is an organisation of exceptional people committed to improving the lives of vulnerable children and to whom I am still fully committed," she said on leaving.

Irish Independent

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