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Glynn sues for Christmas Eve hotel sacking

THE general manager of Citywest Hotel in Dublin has brought a High Court challenge over a bid to dismiss him on Christmas Eve.

John Glynn (59) claims Sean Whelan, chief executive of the Jim Mansfield group, which owns Citywest, was at the centre of bids to undermine him since last May.

Mr Justice Roderick Murphy gave his lawyers permission to serve notice on HSS Ltd, trading as Citywest Hotel, of their intention to seek an injunction stopping his purported dismissal.

In an affidavit, Mr Glynn claims Mr Whelan had come up with a baseless complaint about traffic management for the recent Disney on Ice event at Citywest to immediately dismiss him on Christmas Eve.

He says he has not been afforded fair procedures and is the victim of a "concerted action" by the defendant to remove him for reasons he is not even sure of.

He claimed Mr Whelan offered him an alternative job on December 28 as consultant to the hotel on a salary of €50,000 plus 13pc of net profit.

He rejected this because he had been taken on by Jim Mansfield on an agreed salary of €250,000.

He said he first became general manager of Citywest in 1998 and successfully operated the venue until 2005 when he left to become manager of the Clayton Hotel in Galway in which he also invested.

In August 2008, he said, Jim Mansfield and his wife Anne Mansfield persuaded him to return as general manager of Citywest.

Mrs Mansfield told him her son Jimmy, who was then involved in running the hotel, was unreliable, he said. Mr Mansfield Senior, he said, had developed serious health problems and was not as vigorous in the day-to-day management as he had been in the past.

In March last year, he said, Jimmy Mansfield told him Sean Whelan might become a temporary financial consultant to the Mansfield group but would have no input into the day-to-day running of the hotel. Mr Glynn said he believed the fact that Mr Whelan was a "social acquaintance" of Jimmy's had a significant bearing on his appointment.

Mr Whelan set up an office in a room in Citywest and by May he called a meeting of heads of departments saying he had been appointed chief executive of the Mansfield Group by Jim Mansfield. From then on, Mr Glynn says, Mr Whelan had a "disruptive effect" on the hotel business.

In July, Mr Glynn said, Mr Whelan unilaterally cut his salary by €100,000 though this was temporarily restored following the intervention of Jim Mansfield Senior.

It was again cut to €150,000 again in October when Mr Glynn went into hospital for a serious operation although when he returned to work, he was told he would receive payment due and got it.