Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Christ Church dispute settled

A long-running dispute in which the dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin was accused of “bullying” and being “physically aggressive” towards a former musical director was settled yesterday after lengthy negotiations at an Employment Appeals Tribunal.

The case – which has been running since last July – involves allegations of constructive dismissal by Judy Martin, who claimed she was unfairly treated, and subjected to “persistent, serious bullying” by dean of the cathedral, the Very Rev Dermot Dunne.

‘Time and patience’ 

After more than four hours in talks, Michael Mac Namee, for Rev Dunne, thanked the tribunal for its “time and patience”. 

Peter Shanley for Ms Martin said the two sides were “pleased to announce they settled amicably to the satisfaction of both parties”.

He did however request that they be allowed the liberty to re-enter the matter any time before April 15th. Thereafter the file will be closed.

Ms Martin (45) took up her post in 2003 but resigned in February 2011 amid claims her role had been “dismantled”. 

She claimed last November that she found Rev Dunne “quite frightening” at a meeting on December 16th, 2008.

Resignation ‘precipitous’ 

Mr Mac Namee said his client believed there was no need for Ms Martin to resign. 

“It was unwarranted” and “precipitous”, he said.

It emerged during last November’s hearings that Ms Martin had threatened to resign while working with Rev Dunne’s predecessor.

Under cross-examination, she agreed she had written two letters to the late dean, Rev Desmond Harmon, in 2005 and 2007. 

The 2005 letter contained “talk of resignation”.

Ms Martin – who studied in Cambridge and Oxford – had complained of “constant anti-English references” and said she was ignored and patronised. 

The claims were denied.

She said she developed shoulder and back pain and attributed this to stress.

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