Teacher loses sexual-harassment case against colleague

A secondary teacher from Co Offaly has lost a High Court action in which she alleged she was bullied and sexually harassed by a male colleague.

A secondary teacher from Co Offaly has lost a High Court action in which she alleged she was bullied and sexually harassed by a male colleague.

Mary O'Toole from Whitehall Estate left Tullamore College in 2001 claiming another teacher, Jim Mooney, had made her feel "like a piece of meat".

In tears, Mary O'Toole was comforted by her husband outside court this morning after losing her action against Offaly VEC.

She had alleged the VEC had failed to act on her allegations of sexual harassment and bullying against her former colleague Jim Mooney.

But Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill found they had done everything they could and he concluded regretfully that he had "little or no confidence in the veracity of her evidence".

The mother-of-one had claimed Jim Mooney used to sneer at her and touch her in the staff room and on one occasion exposed himself to her.

She denied having a crush on him and said she slashed his tyres one day having been driven to breaking point.

The judge has rejected the claims of harassment. The issue of costs will be dealt with later.

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