Man who barked at colleague loses unfair dismissal case

An unfair dismissal hearing was told this week that a Craughwell man had “barked” at a work colleague who was involved in court proceedings over noise levels from a neighbour’s dog.

According to reports James O’Brien of Killeeneen More, Craughwell, Galway, was sacked by his former employer, Celestica, after being accused of taunting a colleague who had difficulties with the noise produced by his next-door neighbour’s dogs. O’Brien was also accused of posting newspaper clippings on a noticeboard in January 2008 that insinuated they were related to the court proceedings in which his colleague was involved.

The issue was eventually brought before the Employment Appeals Tribunal. This week the tribunal found that O’Brien had been fairly treated during a disciplinary procedure by Celestica.

O’Brien, who worked as an equipment maintenance technician, denied ever barking at his colleague or taunting him, however, he did admit putting the clippings onto the noticeboard as a practical joke. The tribunal heard that following an investigation O’Brien received a written warning and a loss of 50 per cent in his bonus. It was also claimed that O’Brien had refused to co-operate with the disciplinary hearing.

In dismissing the case the tribunal said that its decision had been influenced by contradictions in O’Brien’s evidence regarding the disposal of the newspaper clippings.

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