Kelleher v. An Post

Facts

Mr. Kelleher had been the Postmaster in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick for about nineteen years. There was a kidnapping incident in the post office while Mr. Kelleher was on holiday, where his son was threatened. However the subsequent investigation found that the staff had not been trained by Mr. Kelleher in what to do in this scenario. It also transpired that some monies lost during this kidnap should have been deposited on an earlier day and Mr. Kelleher had also taken an advance of his salary with him on holidays from the company funds.  Mr. Kelleher was accused by An Post of misuse of funds and failing to follow security procedures in the course of the kidnap which resulted in the loss of  €105,000 to the company. An Post terminated his contract and sought to make him liable for half of the loss (€52,000).

Held

Mr. Kelleher claimed that his dismissal was unfair as there was procedural unfairness, however the High Court held that:

“He was informed of the issues of concern in a very comprehensive manner. He was invited at every stage to give any responses or observations he wished, and he did so at length before his volte face on the 12th October 2011. He was afforded the opportunity of an oral first instance hearing which he at first indicated a wish for, but later declined. He was afforded an oral appeal hearing and a full opportunity to make both oral and written submissions. Taken in the round, this process was scrupulously fair.”