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Saturday 10th January 1998

Competition Winner
Congratulations to Noel Doheny of Crampscastle, Kilusty Road, Fethard who won four tickets to see Robinson Crusoe starring Dustin and Twink - at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin on Saturday, January 17th, In our recent Competition

Coolmore security guards get jobs back
Two security guards at one of Europe's top stud farms, who were sacked for allegedly drinking while on duty, have been re-instated by the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
The two were dismissed from Coolmore Stud in Fethard because they drank wine with their lunch at a training course.
According to Coolmore Stud, both Laurence O'Gorman, Baptistgrange, Lisronagh, and Christopher Mullins, Burke Street, Fethard, were in breach of their contract by drinking while on duty. They had also failed to apologise or acknowledge the seriousness of their actions.
Two other employees who had attended the training course and who also drank with their lunch had admitted making a serious error of judgement and had subsequently apologised for their actions. Coolmore Stud said in evidence at an Employment Appeals Tribunal hearing in Cl onmel
However the tribunal drew a distinction between duty as a security guard and duty as a course participant and saw no reason why they should be equated in this case. The tribunal found that both men had been unfairly dismissed and ordered their reinstatement.
The tribunal said it noted the significance that Coolmore Stud had placed on the fact that two of those involved in the course had apologised and acknowledged the wrong they had committed in having a drink of wine at the seminar. This was the main and only significant difference between the actions of the four people.
Coolmore Stud had not indicated to the two men dismissed that an apology and acknowledgement of wrongdoing would have altered the course that they took in the matter. "The tribunal cannot accept that the incident called for an apology on behalf of the claimants and therefore an acknowledgement of fault on the claimants behalf does not arise," the tribunal ruling states.

If Coolmore Stud felt that the course participants should not have a drink then they should have ensured with the hotel that no drink was provided or indicated to the participants that drink should hot be consumed at the lunch.
Both Laurence O'Gorman and Christopher Mullins took their claim against John Magnier, Robert Sangster and Vincent O'Brien, trading as Coolmore Stud, Fethard.
Coolmore Stud said in evidence at the tribunal sitting in Clonmel that in an effort to upgrade the general effectiveness of the security at Coolmore, the two men and two others were sent on a training course on the 13th and 14th November, 1996. Lunch was provided on both days and Coolmore subsequently received an invoice from the hotel for expenses incurred during the course and included were a number of bottles of wine consumed at lunch.

Coolmore viewed the matter very seriously as staff members were not allowed to drink alcohol while on duty and Laurence Griffin, head of security, told the tribunal that all the employees who had attended the course were interviewed on the matter. Two had apologised for their actions but the two claimants had failed to recognise the seriousness of their actions.

Both were suspended from duty on full pay on 19th December. The matter was subsequently discussed among management and a decision o dismiss the two men was taken as they had committed a fundamental breach of their contracts by drinking while on duty and had failed to apologise or acknowledge the seriousness of their actions, financial administrator, Jerome P. Casey said in evidence. Mr. O'Gorman was dismissed following a disciplinary incident on 7th January, 1997; Mr. Mullins was dismissed on 13th January, 1997.

The two claimants told the tribunal that they were provided with a lunch which included wine on both days and they had not received instructions from their employers prohibiting the drinking of wine with the lunch.

Allowing the claims under the Unfair Dismissals Act, the tribunal determined that the most appropriate remedy lay in the re-instatement of the claimants to the positions they held immediately prior to their dismissals on the same terms and conditions, It also determined that the re-instatement be deemed to have commenced on the dates that the claimants were dismissed,


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