THE Bank of Ireland fired a cashier accused of stealing €1,500 without any evidence she had done so, her lawyer has told an industrial tribunal.
Jacqueline Gallagher (25), from Frosses in Co Donegal, "strenuously denies" the allegations against her and is seeking reinstatement to her post at the bank's branch in Bundoran and compensation for loss of earnings.
At the hearing at the Central Hotel in Donegal Town yesterday, Frank Gillespie, solicitor for Miss Gallagher, said the entire case for dismissing his client had been unproven by the bank and proper procedures for firing her were not followed.
Tribunal chair Dr Anne-Marie Courell was told that a key witness in the case, cashier Pamela Hackett, had been given a career break last September by Bank of Ireland and was now in Australia and may not be available until August 2013.
In his opening statement to the tribunal, barrister Seamus Clarke for Bank of Ireland said an internal investigation had concluded 'on the balance of probabilities' that Miss Gallagher had 'misappropriated' monies from the bank.
Miss Gallagher, he said, had been dismissed from her position because €1,000 in €2 coins and €550 in soiled notes had gone missing from the Bundoran branch of the bank and because she had failed to comply with certain banking procedures.
Mr Clarke said the 25-year-old was what is termed the 'No1' cashier at the branch and had gone into work at 4pm on Monday, August 31, 2009, despite fracturing her arm the previous weekend.
During that visit she had offered to help Ms Hackett count cash after the branch closed and had added €1,000 to the day's accounts by claiming that amount in €2 coins had not been accounted for the previous Friday.
Ms Hackett, said Mr Clarke, had done so and the addition of that amount had 'balanced' the accounts that day.
The case has been adjourned until May.