Dundalk dismissal

By Des Cryan

A reporter has been awarded 5,000 euros for constructive dismissal
after claiming she was forced to resign after 10 years on the Dundalk
Democrat because of the behaviour of her editor.

Brenda Finegan told an employment appeals tribunal that editor Joe
Carroll had made unwelcome comments, including remarks about her
clothes, saying she should not wear black.

Carroll denied her
claims, saying he had never harassed her or any member of his staff. He
denied he had ever thrown a newspaper at her or kissed a fellow female
journalist on the lips. He said he had used the phrase “in knickers”

towards Finegan in jest.

Carroll also said that he had warned her more than a dozen times over a two-year period that he was not happy with her work.

Finegan
complained that her byline had been omitted from stories and that she
had not been allocated a new computer when the newspaper had been taken
over by a larger group in 2000.

The tribunal found that Finegan
had not been sexually harassed, but there had been a “consistent lack
of proper management in respect of the grievance- handling procedure”
at the paper.

Ruling that she had been constructively dismissed,
it added that she had made a “substantial contribution” to the
circumstances that led to her departure.

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