Saturday 24 February 2018

Reserve defence forces secretary challenges dismissal

Tim Healy

THE General Secretary of the Reserve Defence Force's Representative Association (RDFRA) is seeking to stop disciplinary proceedings for alleged gross misconduct against him.

Thomas Walsh, RDFRA's General Secretary since 2008, has brought a High Court action because he fears he could be dismissed arising out of allegations of financial irregularities which he denies.


The allegations included that he claimed payment for which he was not entitled to be paid, including days that he was away from his work place and was actually engaged as an assistant facilities manager on matchdays at Croke Park.


It is also alleged he wrongfully submitted false and bogus claims for expenses which he was not entitled on RDFRA.


Mr Walsh denies any wrongdoing and says he was shocked by the allegations against him claim the disciplinary process commenced by RDFRA is flawed and breaches his constitutional right to


Mr Walsh with an address at Martinstown Lane, Ballysax, The Curragh in Kildare, has brought proceedings against RDFRA. He claims that he cannot a fair hearing at a proposed disciplinary hearing.


Should the disciplinary process continue he fears he will suffer irreparable harm. He says he was first made aware of the allegations, last May, shortly before he was due to return work after being out for some months on sick leave.


He claims that he has not been provided with full details of the accusations against him, including documentation, nor the terms of reference underlying the investigation.


He also claims RDFRA refusal to furnish him with material he says he needs to fully defend himself amounts to a breach of his contractual and procedural rights to fair procedure.


Last June he attended a meeting described as fact finding inquiry which was attended by members of RDFRA's executive. He was asked questions about the alleged financial irregularities, and was told a report of their findings would be presented to the associations National Executive and matters would proceed from there.


During a recess one of those questioning him told him it would be better if he resigned.


Last week Mr Walsh obtained a temporary injunction preventing RDFRA from continuing with the disciplinary process until it complies with natural and constitutional justice. He also got an order restraining RDFRA from dismissing him until it has carried out a disciplinary process which complies with natural and constitutional justice.


RDFRA, reject Mr Walsh's claims and want the injunctions lifted. They deny the disciplinary process engaged in is unfair, and say Mr Walsh is well aware of the allegations against him.


The matter was adjourned until next Tuesday.

Online Editors

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