Simon Coveney accused of contempt in court battle
A BID may be made to jail Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney for contempt of court, in a legal case of two Department of Agriculture employees who allege they were double-crossed.
Mr Justice John Hedigan was told papers had already been prepared to facilitate an application for committal to prison.
Technical agricultural officers Vincent Gormley, of Brownsgrove, Tuam, Co Galway, and James Scott, of Glinsk, Ballymoe, Co Galway, had taken action earlier this year alleging they should be redeployed as assistant inspectors.
Mr Justice Hedigan heard that on July 30, Mr Coveney had given an undertaking to the court that he would not appoint people to the inspectors' posts as advertised on April 12, or until the court challenge by Mr Gormley and Mr Scott had been determined. But counsel for the employees said it seemed the positions had been filled.
Counsel for the minister said he strongly objected to a suggestion of a breach of an undertaking, which he said related to an external advertisement process while the issue before the court related to an internal advertisement process. The judge adjourned the proceedings until after a Labour Relations Commission hearing next month.