Wednesday 21 March 2018

Royston Brady tells tribunal of his ‘unfair’ dismissal by hotel

Royston Brady: said sacking
would look bad politically
Royston Brady: said sacking would look bad politically
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

FORMER Lord Mayor of Dublin Royston Brady was "essentially frogmarched" from an upmarket hotel after being sacked from his position as general manager, it was claimed yesterday.

The ex-Fianna Fail councillor, who served as mayor of the capital between 2003 and 2004, was employed for almost two years at Dublin's Roganstown Hotel and Country Club, until he left in the summer of 2010.

He has taken a case for unfair dismissal to the Employment Appeals Tribunal and is seeking compensation, but not reinstatement.

Mr Brady told the tribunal that he had raised questions about money being taken from wedding parties, allegedly to cover late licences, but that the money was not being passed to the State.

He said he had no involvement in making applications for special exemption orders.

The former politician referred to reports after he had left his post that there may have been about 40 applications involved, which he estimated totalled about €22,000.

On July 9, 2010, he received an email from managing director Ian McGuinness, stating his understanding that Mr Brady was leaving to pursue other interests and that he was serving him notice.

The former politician had at the time been mooted as a potential candidate for the directly elected post of mayor of Dublin, a position which had been flagged up by the then Fianna Fail-Green government.

Mr Brady said he had never denied his political interest to his employers, but nor had he set a date for leaving his post at the hotel to organise a campaign.

He told the tribunal that he subsequently questioned Mr McGuinness on whether issues raised by him, including the late licensing, had anything to do with the email from Mr McGuinness.

"There was a tirade of abuse directed at me at that stage," Mr Brady said, adding: "I was quite upset and taken aback."

The tribunal heard that Mr Brady then drafted a letter of resignation and sent it to Mr McGuinness.

He went back in to work the next day.

When asked by his barrister Brian Conroy why he wrote the letter, Mr Brady said that if he wanted to kick-start his political career again, it would not have looked good if he had been sacked.

On July 12, he informed Mr McGuinness that he would be refunding one wedding couple about €550 as there was no late licence.

But the tribunal heard that Mr McGuinness then phoned him to say that he was "f***ing sacked".

Mr Conroy told the tribunal that Mr McGuinness had reacted furiously to his client and told him to leave the premises.

"He was fired," Mr Conroy said, adding: "And he was essentially frog-marched off the premises."

Judy McNamara, of Peninsula Business Services, representing Mr McGuinness, said there had been concerns raised about the performance of Mr Brady.

In a later, connected hearing about a contractual issue at the tribunal, Mr McGuinness said he had raised the concerns about the performance of Mr Brady with him at a meeting that took place in March 2010.

"He (Mr Brady) agreed that his performance hadn't been everything it should have been," Mr McGuinness said.

The unfair dismissal hearing was adjourned yesterday until September.

Irish Independent

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