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Manager in National Stud bullying claim settles action

A MANAGER at the Irish National Stud who claimed she was bullied after ending an alleged affair with its former chief executive has settled her High Court action.

Julie Lynch claimed that Irish National Stud (INS) CEO John Clarke had conducted a campaign of intimidation and sexual harassment against her after she ended a two-year affair in 2008.

Yesterday at the High Court, Frank Callinan, for Ms Lynch, said his client's action against the INS, which is based in Kildare, had been settled. No details of the settlement were revealed.

However, in a joint statement, the parties said they had come to "an amicable arrangement in full" and had reached a full and final settlement of all issues between them, on confidential terms.

The INS also said it "regrets any injuries caused to Ms Lynch". The statement added that Ms Lynch has decided to leave the position she held at the stud to "pursue interests of her own".

The INS also acknowledged her contribution to the organisation.

"During her time at the INS, Ms Lynch carried out her responsibilities to the great benefit of the stud, and a record number of mares were covered and a record level of income generated," the statement said.

The High Court heard Ms Lynch started working at the INS in 2006 and was later promoted to stallion nominations manager which involved matching the stud's stallions with customers' mares.

She claimed she began an affair with Mr Clarke in 2006 but decided to end the relationship in April 2008. After this, she claimed, Mr Clarke engaged in a campaign of intimidation, bullying and harassment against her.

She claimed Mr Clarke made her life hell after she ended their affair. She also alleged he had, between August and October 2008, sexually assaulted her on numerous occasions.

Mr Clarke was not a party to the proceedings.

Last year, the INS agreed a settlement of injunction proceedings brought by Ms Lynch in which she sought orders restraining it from placing her on medical leave or having her vacated from a house provided as part of her job.

The injunctions were sought pending the outcome of her full action. However, in March 2010 the High Court was told the sides had come to an arrangement and the injunction proceedings were struck out.

The INS said the allegations of sexual assault were not previously put to them or to Mr Clarke and, as he was not a party to proceedings, they were not in a position to respond.

Irish Independent