independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Sean Quinn’s son-in-law settles unfair dismissal case against new owners of insurance company

A SOLICITOR who claimed he was unfairly dismissed from his job at Liberty Insurance Ltd because he is a son-in-law of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn has settled his action against the company.





John McLoughlin, who is married to Colette Quinn, alleged Liberty had "a vendetta" against the Quinn family and had made absolutely clear to him he would be dismissed following "a painful and damaging" disciplinary process if he did not accept a severance package.



Ms Justice Mary Laffoy was told in the High Court that Mr McLoughlin's action over his dismissal and related proceedings had settled. The terms were not disclosed.



Mr McLoughlin, Slieve View, Teemore, Co Fermanagh, initiated proceedings last December against Liberty, which bought Quinn Insurance when it was sold by the administrators in March 2010.



Mr McLoughlin was employed with Quinn Insurance as compliance manager from July 2008 and claimed, after Quinn Insurabnce transferred to Liberty, it became clear Liberty or some of its members were "determined to ensure" no members of the Quinn family would continue to work with the insurer.



He had attended his GP with stress and claimed, while he initiated a grievance procedure in February 2012, was not afforded fair procedures and Liberty dismissed his grievance "out of hand".



In December 2012, following an alleged unfair disciplinary process, he was told Liberty head of finance George Doonan had recommended his contract of employment be terminated with immediate effect on grounds of gross misconduct.



One complaint that he used a profanity in the workplace was not proceeded with, while the complaints on foot of which he was dismissed were procedural, relating to failing to follow company procedures in investigation and disciplinary matters, he claimed.



Liberty denied the claims and said Mr McLoughlin's marriage to Sean Quinn's daughter was not considered relevant to any issues in the disciplinary process.



A member of the Quinn family remained a "valued" employee until she opted for voluntary redundancy last month and there was no "determined" effort to remove members of the family as alleged, it said.

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