Sunday 25 February 2018

Packie Bonner's ex-PA settles unfair dismissal case with FAI

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

BOSSES at the Football Association of Ireland have reached a settlement with a former personal assistant to Packie Bonner who claimed she was unfairly dismissed.

An Employment Appeals Tribunal heard Vanessa Tucker (38) only learned her administration job might be at risk through "rumour". She was shocked after she was informed at a meeting in November 2010 that she was being made redundant after 10 years with the FAI.

Solicitor Fiona Kelly, for Ms Tucker, told the hearing yesterday that the unfair dismissal case had been settled late on Friday evening. No details of the settlement were disclosed to the tribunal.

Chair of the tribunal, Penelope McGrath, said the case was now settled but granted Ms Kelly permission to re-enter the case within six weeks should any issues arise.

During her time at the FAI, Ms Tucker, from Rush, Co Dublin, had worked as a personal assistant to former FAI technical director Mr Bonner. She had also served the previous chief executive Brendan Menton.

At a previous tribunal sitting, the FAI human resources director Stephen Driver had denied that the organisation had drawn up a "hitlist" of employees it wanted to get rid of during redundancies in 2010, when 12 people were let go.

Mr Driver said the redundancies had been carried out in a "fair manner" and the basis for it was on workers' functions.

"Rather than drawing up a hitlist, the organisation approached it from a functional point of view," Mr Driver said.

The tribunal heard the FAI had to reduce its "headcount" as it attempted to enforce a cost-cutting programme.

Ms Tucker had been based at the FAI headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin 15. She worked in the ticket office and at the reception before becoming a PA.

However, she had relinquished this role to carry out general administrative work in the technical department after she had asked her employers for a shorter working week.

Irish Independent

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