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Christ Church dean bullied me - conductor

A WOMAN once described as "the greatest conductor of her generation" alleges she was the victim of anti-English bullying at the hands of the dean of Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral.

Judy Martin (45) has told an Employment Appeals Tribunal that on one occasion the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne shouted at her in "an irrational outburst".



threatening

She said she was frightened and found the dean "physically intimidating".

She alleges she was subject to persistent bullying, aggression and threatening behaviour in the course of her job as director of music in the cathedral.

Ms Martin also revealed that depression and anxiety caused by the bullying led her to make plans to take her own life.

She has brought a case of constructive dismissal against the cathedral and Rev Dunne, the dean of the Church of Ireland diocese of Dublin and Glendalough.

Rev Dunne denies the allegations.

Ms Martin took up employment with the cathedral in 2003 following a successful musical career in the UK. By 2010 her salary was €34,000 but included rent-free accommodation in a "huge Georgian building" on St Werburgh Street.

Rev Dunne became dean of the cathedral in May 2008.

Ms Martin said in December 2009, Rev Dunne "got quite aggressive and said we (the choir) should change what we were doing".

At a meeting the following day "the aggression I had seen came out in an almost irrational outburst from the dean where he was almost shouting at me".

"He stood up and leaned over towards me, I found it quite frightening and I couldn't tell what he was saying to me. All I could take was that the choir was too prominent and was overshadowing events."

In January 2011 she wrote a letter to the board of Christ Church telling it that as her job had been systematically dismantled and because she had been undermined she considered herself to have been constructively dismissed.

The hearing continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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