A CENTRAL Bank economist told the High Court yesterday he did not withdraw from social interaction with his colleagues before management told him to see a psychiatrist.
John Delaney (48) said he avoided going to the bank's morning 'coffee zone' because he was in dispute with one of his managers, who was usually at these get-togethers, and so he thought it better to stay in his office.
He also denied avoiding lunch in the bank's in-house restaurant and said he went to Mass during lunch.
Mr Delaney, a married father of three, wants the court to declare that his employers improperly influenced a psychiatrist, who produced a report saying he had a personality disorder.
He says that report was fundamentally flawed and led to him being put on sick leave from July 2008. Another psychiatrist found that he did not suffer from any such disorder.
The court heard that in 2006 Mr Delaney made an unsuccessful complaint of being bullied by his superiors. He claims that after an internal investigator had rejected his complaint, he was given little to do and isolated.
He also says the bank improperly supplied the investigator's report to forensic psychiatrist Dr Damian Mohan, who then reported Mr Delaney suffered from a paranoid personality disorder or an emerging delusional disorder. Mr Delaney yesterday told his counsel, Roddy Horan, that he wanted to return to work but he first wanted Dr Mohan's report to be struck out.
Mr Delaney, who was on an annual salary of €108,000, said he was now receiving pension-rate remuneration, which is around 40pc less than he earned before being put on sick leave.
Cross-examined by Marguerite Bolger SC, for the Central Bank, Mr Delaney disagreed that his decision not to leave his office for morning coffee was a sign of erratic behaviour.
He said he was in conflict with deputy manager Joe McNeill and he thought it better to "stay in my room" rather than meet with Mr McNeill in the coffee zone.
Psychiatrist Abbie Lane told the court she disagreed that he suffered from the disorder diagnosed by Dr Mohan. She diagnosed him as suffering from an adjustment disorder from stress related to his work.
The case continues.