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Election candidate loses dismissal case

A CANDIDATE in last year's general election has lost a constructive dismissal case in which she claimed she felt "imprisoned in an unsafe office".

Siobhan Roseingrave, who ran unsuccessfully as an Independent candidate in the Wexford constituency, brought a case against Wicklow County Council to the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

She had resigned from her position in December 2009.

Ms Roseingrave, from Gorey Co Wexford, had spent over 20 years working in the public service and joined the council as a legal assistant in 1999. She represented herself at the tribunal after estimating it would cost €12,000 for a solicitor.

In evidence, she said a lengthy conflict arose with another employee in 2005 and there was a lack of support from the local authority.

The tribunal heard there was a failed mediation process and an investigation found there was no bullying on either side.

A number of Rights Commissioner hearings were staged and she received €15,000 for distress caused.

Ms Roseingrave told the tribunal she felt let down and imprisoned in an office she felt was unsafe. She said she felt forced to resign.

The council told the tribunal Ms Roseingrave had voluntarily resigned and it had discharged its duty of care.

It said it had tried to find a solution after a complaint was raised and pointed out that Ms Roseingrave was also on full pay while on sick leave for one year and nine months.

The tribunal found management had failed to recognise there was a "serious interpersonal relationship problem" early on.

However, the chair accepted the local authority did everything possible they could and acted reasonably in the circumstances.

Irish Independent