Sacked cat rescue hero 'too late' to sue DSPCA
AN animal welfare officer who risked her life to rescue a kitten on the M50 motorway has been refused extra time to bring sexual harassment proceedings against a veterinary surgeon and the DSPCA.
Lisa Kemp, who was sacked last year by the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for allegedly assaulting vet Joseph Neylon, wanted an extension of time to allow her bring a sexual harassment and discrimination claim against Mr Neylon and the society.
Mr Neylon, of Beechwood Farm, Rooske Road, Dunboyne, Co Meath, has denied assaulting or harassing Kemp, of Corke Abbey, Bray, Co Wicklow.
The Circuit Civil Court heard yesterday that Ms Kemp wanted to sue Mr Neylon and the DSPCA under the unlimited jurisdiction of the Employment Equality Act for assault, sexual assault, sexual harassment, breach of contract and negligence.
She claimed that after having dealt with disciplinary proceedings within the DSPCA she had run out of time in bringing proceedings under the Act.
Barrister Tom Mallon told Judge Matthew Deery that Ms Kemp had the benefit of legal advisers while dealing with disciplinary matters and had adequate time afterwards in which to initiate proceedings.
He said a draft Civil Bill, in which Ms Kemp set out her allegations against both defendants, was so fundamentally flawed that the court should refuse to extend time.
It was not for the judge to tidy up the proceedings or advise her on the proofs of her case.
Ms Kemp in her draft proceedings, alleged she was repeatedly subjected to verbal and physical sexual harassment by Mr Neylon who was employed as a vet at the DSPCA at Mount Venus Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin. She said she had been dismissed for allegedly assaulting Neylon which she denied.
Kevin Barry, of O'Shea Barry Solicitors, said Ms Kemp had failed to set out any reasons or reasonable cause that had prevented her from complying with the six-month time limit in which to initiate proceedings under the Employment Equality Act.
Mr Neylon, in an affidavit said he believed Ms Kemp had made a complaint to the Garda Siochana in relation to her allegations and he felt constrained in dealing with the merits of her case.
Judge Deery said his refusal to extend time to facilitate proceedings under the employment Equality Act, did not in any way stop Ms Kemp from issuing ordinary Civil Bill proceedings against the DSPCA.
He said the position in regard to the issue of criminal proceedings, which might or might not arise, was that there was none in being.