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Broadcaster wins unfair dismissal claim

News

Broadcaster wins unfair dismissal claim


Edwin McGreal


Well-known broadcaster Liamy MacNally has won a case for unfair dismissal against his former employers Mid West Radio.
The decision of the Employment Appeals Tribunal was released in writing on Friday and both parties received notice of it yesterday (Monday).
In the determination by the three member tribunal, chaired by Ann Marie Courell, they state they do not accept that Mr MacNally was targeted ‘on account of any controversies that may have arisen from the carrying out of his journalistic duties’.
However they do state that ‘no evidence was adduced to show the reason for the claimant’s selection’, adding there is a ‘total lack of clarity’ from station management which, the tribunal chairperson states ‘clearly betrays a lack of objectivity’ in the selection of Mr MacNally.
Describing the dismissal as ‘unfair’, the Tribunal measured the award under the Unfair Dismissal Acts 1977 to 2007 at €47,000. Both sides have six weeks to appeal.
Mr MacNally was a senior news reporter with Mid West Radio and worked there from 1995-97 and from 1999-2010. He was made compulsorily redundant in November, 2010 as part of cutbacks which management at the station said were necessary due to falling revenues.
Mr MacNally argued that there was no selection process revealed to him as to why he was made redundant and claimed that the reason for his selection was because the station’s Managing Director, Paul Claffey, and management at the station took issue with his reportage of the Corrib gas controversy.
He also said how Mr Claffey had ‘bawled me out of it’ in front of work colleagues when Mr MacNally asked about takeover plans of a Scottish radio group in 2008.
The tribunal was heard over two days, in March and November. Last March Paul Claffey said he had good time for Mr MacNally’s work but admitted they had rows over the nature of his work, especially with regard to the Corrib gas dispute. He said he was worried the station was leaving themselves open to legal action and denied he was under any pressure from advertisers to ‘rein him (Mr MacNally) in’.