Bank manager secures injunction against dismissal

A bank manager today secured a High Court injunction preventing his dismissal over misconduct allegations.

The order was granted pending the outcome of a full hearing of the dispute between Christopher Giblin and Irish Life & Permanent.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy granted the injunction application by Mr Giblin, manager at Irish Life and Permanent (IL&P), College Green, Dublin, whose purported dismissal arose out of allegations relating to transactions on accounts in his own name and in the names of his wife and his mother-in-law.

The court heard that Mr Giblin, who has been employed by the bank for the last 30 years, was shocked and distressed when informed by his employers last December he was being summarily dismissed. He has denied any wrong doing.

A father of four of Belmont Gardens, Donnybrook, Dublin, Mr Giblin is seeking a declaration his dismissal is null and void because it is in breach of fair procedures and natural justice.

Brian Murray SC for IL&P denied his client has acted unfairly and contends Mr Giblin has failed to make out a strong arguable case warranting an injunction.

Ercus Stewart SC for Mr Giblin had claimed that IL&P had engaged in an investigation and disciplinary process which breached the bank's own disciplinary procedures. Mr Giblin was suspended last August pending an investigation into transactions on his and his family's accounts.

Counsel had argued the investigation process was changed into a disciplinary process which resulted in notification in December of his purported dismissal. There was no allegation the bank had made a loss or that Mr Giblin made a gain, his counsel Ercus Stewart SC told the court.

Counsel also argued Mr Giblin had acted openly, never tried to hide anything and was never informed by the bank he was doing something which was in breach of any code.

In her judgment the Judge said that while she was not making a determination in the case she had reached the conclusion that a strong case had been made out that Mr Giblin had been denied fair procedures, and that a fair hearing had been imperilled by the conduct of those investigating the allegations against him.

Mr Giblin, the Judge added, had also established a strong case that Mr Giblin had not been afforded the type of appeal against the decision to dismiss him which he is contractually entitled.

The Judge also said that damages were not an adequate remedy in this case given the damage that the decision to dismiss had on Mr Giblin's reputation.

The Judge said that the balance of convenience favoured granted the injunction. The Judge said Mr Giblin was entitled to special leave on full pay, in accordance with the bank's disciplinary procedures, until the proceedings are determined.

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