AN IRISH woman who claims she was constructively dismissed from her job at the Embassy of Lesotho in Dublin said the then ambassador was under "severe pressure" to find a position for a relative of a high-ranking official.
Claire Corcoran,from Baldoyle in Dublin, told an Employment Appeals Tribunal she was left with no option but to resign from her €54,000-a-year post as trade and tourism attache in June 2010 after she was "bullied, harassed and intimidated".
Giving evidence yesterday, Ms Corcoran said a year before she resigned, the then ambassador, Mannete Ramaili, was under pressure from her government to find a job for the niece of Lesotho's chief justice who was living in Ireland.
Ms Corcoran told how she wrote a memo to Ms Ramaili in March 2010, saying she felt bullied by the embassy's first secretary, Nkhotha Machachamise, and counsellor Phakiso Paelpoma, however she claimed her complaint was "blatantly ignored".
She told an earlier sitting of the tribunal how the two men had called her into a meeting in February 2010, during which they alleged she was incompetent. She said she came under pressure to sign the minutes of the meeting and when she refused was accused of insubordination by Mr Machachamise.
Yesterday, Mr Machachamise, who represented the embassy at the tribunal, asked Ms Corcoran why she did not appeal the finding of a disciplinary hearing which had concluded she was guilty of misconduct.
Ms Corcoran said there was no independent party to whom she could appeal the finding.
Mr Machachamise told the tribunal Ms Corcoran did not attempt to access any means of mediation before she resigned. "She was not dismissed, she was not constructively dismissed, she chose to leave her job," he said.
The embassy said it would not be offering any evidence to counter the claim of constructive dismissal. The tribunal retired to decide on the case.