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Bus driver is sacked over wildcat strike

THE instigator of a wildcat strike at Dublin Bus that brought the city to a standstill has been sacked.

Eugene McDonagh was suspended last May by the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) for what they described as "unbecoming conduct" that had put the union in a "very awkward position".

Mr McDonagh, a bus driver based in Harristown and a former member of the union executive, was suspended after he spearheaded a campaign that brought the buses on the northside of the city to a standstill.

The dispute spread to four of the city's seven depots, grounding 21 routes at one point and reducing services on 41 others.

Mr McDonagh was charged with the same offence as 13 other union members, but was the only one dismissed because he was found to have instigated the row.

A statement from the NBRU said: "Contrary to statements issued since our member's dismissal regarding the similarity of his case and that of 13 others, the company found him guilty of instigating the unofficial dispute at Harristown.

"Our remaining 13 members were found guilty of causing a disruption to services at garages across the city.

"The member (Mr McDonagh) was offered representation of senior representatives of this trade union, ie. the branch chairperson and the general president.

"The member (as is his entitlement) chose to be represented by neither of those senior and experienced reps. He was subsequently issued with seven days notice."

Mr McDonagh has denied claims made by Dublin Bus and the NBRU and has stood by his actions last year.

"I refute the company claims and the statements used to back it up," he said. "I have contended that the dispute happened because of the arrogance of local management."