Cinema group must pay €20k to ex-manager in Limerick

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick Courthouse
THE former general manager of a Limerick cinema complex who was unfairly dismissed almost five years ago has been granted a court order directing that he be paid more than €20,000 in compensation.

THE former general manager of a Limerick cinema complex who was unfairly dismissed almost five years ago has been granted a court order directing that he be paid more than €20,000 in compensation.

Colm Healy, who worked at the Odeon Multiplex (formerly Storm) in Castletroy between 2005 and 2010, was awarded the compensation last July after an Employment Appeals Tribunal ruled he had been unfairly dismissed.

This Tuesday, Limerick Circuit Court was told no monies have been paid to date by either of the respondent companies - United Cinemas International Limited or Odeon Cinemas Limited.

Over the course of two days of hearings in 2013, the three-person Tribunal heard that Mr Healy had been initially employed by the previous owners of the cinema complex but that his employment was later transferred to Odeon Cinemas.

Evidence was heard that he was suspended, with pay, on July 21, 2010 after concerns were raised over the cleanliness of the cinema and his ‘clocking-in’.

Mr Healy went on sick leave the following day due to “acute severe occupational anxiety and stress” and never returned to work at the complex.

The respondents told the Tribunal, that while he initially submitted a number of medical certificates, he did not maintain contact with management and was dismissed, in December 2010, for being on unauthorised leave.

Mr Healy said the cinema complex was profitable throughout his time in charge but that he felt insecure, was always looking over his shoulder following the change in ownership and felt the new owners wanted him out.

The tribunal found in his favour by a two-to-one majority.

This Tuesday Donal O’Rourke BL, representing Mr Healy, said while the Tribunal made its decision last summer, the parties involved were not properly notified until January of this year.

He told Judge Tom O’Donnell that the compensation has not been paid to date and that no appeal was lodged against the Tribunal’s decision.

In accordance with the relevant legislation, Mr O’Rourke requested that court direct that interest “at the court’s rate” be paid in addition to the original sum awarded.

Judge Tom O’Donnell granted the application and he awarded Mr Healy his costs.