Sacked air staff praised for find

An airline security worker sacked for taking a copy of Time magazine from a rubbish bag had previously received a letter of commendation for discovering five 9mm bullets in an airport X-ray machine at Shannon airport.

Tim Marks received the letter of commendation from ICTS Ireland after spotting the ammunition in a Customs and Border Protection X-ray machine in July 2011.

The letter commended Mr Marks for his overall performance for ICTS and in particular his keen eye for detail and compliance with procedures resulting in the discovery of the bullets. It read that Mr Marks’s “hard work and co-operation does not go unnoticed”.

However, the 53-year-old was fired in October 2014 after admitting he did not have permission to take the $5.99 Time magazine from a rubbish bag on a stairwell serving a transatlantic jet on October 22, 2014.

Conor Glendon, solicitor for Mr Marks of Mountain View, Ennis, Co Clare, told the hearing yesterday that Mr Marks was highly regarded among his colleagues and after his sacking got a series of temporary posts stacking shelves for various firms. Mr Glendon said Mr Marks has recently started security work on a seasonal basis for a different security firm at Shannon Airport.

Nine years with ICTS Ireland, Mr Marks is suing for unfair dismissal and at a hearing in Ennis yesterday, station manager at Shannon for ICTS, Audrey Wilhite, said the value of the item is irrelevant as there is zero tolerance in the company towards theft.

ICTS provides security to a number of airlines operating out of Shannon and Ms Wilhite said: “Mr Marks shouldn’t have removed anything from the aircraft. For theft, there is a very, very clear company policy.

“We are a security company and the whole basis of what we do is protecting all of the items on the aircraft. That is our purpose for being there. If we have someone who breaches that, it is serious, it is extremely serious and we can’t actually proceed with that person.”

Mr Glendon said Mr Marks had a nine-year unblemished record with the firm. Ms Wilhite said that, once theft happens, “that’s it. We can’t continue with that person and the breach of trust has occurred.”

Ms Wilhite said the removal of the magazine was the only reason she fired Mr Marks.

The hearing has been adjourned to June and Mr Marks is to give evidence.


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