Minister settles employment case

COMMUNITY, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs Minister, Pat Carey, has settled a case taken by his constituency secretary before the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Lawyers for Linda Weir, who works as a part-time secretary in Mr Carey’s constituency office in Finglas, yesterday withdrew the case against the minister.

During a brief hearing in Dublin, tribunal chairman Peter O’Leary was told that the parties had reached a settlement. However, the terms of the agreement were not revealed to the tribunal.

Lawyers for Ms Weir said implementation of the agreement was “ongoing” and was linked to a possible future event. However, they pointed out Ms Weir was still working for Mr Carey, a Fianna Fáil TD representing Dublin North West.

Mr O’Leary expressed surprise at the reference to a possible future event being part of the terms of the settlement and warned both sides that the case could not be left “in abeyance”.

The EAT chairman said the Tribunal could not accept a condition that was “indeterminable”. However, both sides indicated that the matter was expected to be resolved in the near future.

Mr O’Leary agreed to allow Ms Weir to re-enter the case if the settlement had not been implemented by August 24.

Mr Carey did not attend the hearing but was represented by human relations specialist, Brian Aylward.

A spokesperson for the minister said Ms Weir, who has been employed by Mr Carey since 1997, remained working in his Finglas constituency office. Official records shows she earns a salary of €21,398.

While he declined to explain the issue which led Ms Weir to make a claim before the EAT, the spokesperson said it related to “technical problems”.

Ms Weir said the case involved several issues.

Mr Carey is the second well-known politician to have a case taken against him by an employee before the Tribunal in recent months. In May, former taoiseach Garret FitzGerald settled a claim for unfair dismissal taken against him by his former personal assistant and secretary, Sharon Kelly.

The case was also settled minutes before the parties were due to appear before the public sitting .


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