I kicked dog because I'm afraid of them - postman

Cormac Murphy

A POSTMAN cursed at a retired garda after kicking the man's Jack Russell dog, an Employment Appeals Tribunal has heard.

Philip Dwyer was dismissed from An Post in May 2010, having begun work there in 1985.

Mr Dwyer says he was unfairly dismissed because his bosses failed to understand his fear of dogs after he was attacked twice on his route.

Management said his dismissal was as a result of dereliction of duty and for failing to comply with their instructions.

But Mr Dwyer argued that he was unfit to work due to stress after he was "attacked" by dogs on two separate occasions while delivering post in Dublin.

The tribunal heard how in 2002 in Rathfarnham, the postman came across a Jack Russell dog while delivering mail.

The pet's owner, retired garda Oliver Harrington, said the dog only barked before it was kicked by Mr Dwyer. When he asked the postman why he kicked the dog, Mr Dwyer said the animal had attacked him and threatened to call the "f***ing gardai", the tribunal heard.


Mr Harrington said the postman became angry and shouted: "Who do you think you are, looking at me that f***ing way? I just hope you can handle yourself. You are going to get it."

However, Mr Dwyer said the dog had attacked and lunged at him and he kicked it in self-defence. He claimed the dog's owner approached him with a garden rake. Mr Dwyer was off sick for nine months following the incident. He was later dismissed.

The tribunal heard the postman was offered indoor work or to be moved to another location but he had refused it and was dismissed. The hearing continues.