Wednesday 26 June 2019

Widow of man who took his own life says he experienced 'relentless bullying at work' - inquest hears

John Broderick Photo: Pieta House
John Broderick Photo: Pieta House

Ralph Riegel

A CORONER is to write to one of Ireland's biggest construction supply firms after the wife of a man who took his own life said he had suffered relentless bullying at work.

Cork North Coroner Dr Michael Kennedy adjourned the inquest into the death of father of one John Broderick so he can write to Munster Joinery, one of Ireland's biggest window and door suppliers, to ascertain their anti-bullying policy.

Dr Kennedy is also to ask the firm, based in Ballydemond, Co Cork, if they were aware of the alleged bullying of Mr Broderick before his tragic death.

The coroner is also to ask University Hospital Kerry (UHK) for any psychiatric report compiled on Mr Broderick after his attendance at the emergency department just a day before his death.

Mr Broderick, who lived in Killarney, Co Kerry, took his own life on August 28 2018 after going to work at the Cork construction supplies firm.

He had attempted to take his own life just days earlier.

His widow, Sandra Broderick, wept as she told her husband's inquest that he told the person allegedly bullying him that he suffered from depression and pleaded for the "mind games" and bullying to stop.

"It was very clear he was just pulling strings and John was just a puppet," she sobbed.

Mrs Broderick, represented by Eimear Griffin from Padraig O'Connell Solicitors, said things were fine at work for a short time before the alleged bullying then resumed.

She said her husband was "roared at" in front of fellow employees and effectively belittled.

"John had his good days and his bad days," she explained.

"He could go to work and be really happy and he could also come home crying."

She said her husband would often dread on Sunday having to return to work on Monday morning.

Mrs Broderick claimed her husband had been bullied since he started work at the joinery firm by a named individual.

He had been actively looking for another job but, in the interim, had told his wife: "I just have to learn to deal with him."

Mrs Broderick said that individual had played "mind games" with her husband.

She said that, in desperation, her husband admitted to him that he suffered from depression in a bid to get the alleged bullying to stop.

But, after a few days, she said things continued as normal.

Dr Kennedy said he wanted to adjourn the inquest until next year when he hopes to have further information available to him.

Munster Joinery and University Hospital Kerry made no submissions to the inquest.

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