Denture-less, Not Drunk
A TRUCK driver with a Ballisodare company who was sacked after allegedly being drunk on the phone from England to his boss claimed that he was instead just very tired and that he hadn't his dentures in at the time.
An Employment Appeals Tribunal heard that the driver, James Fahy, was subsequently sacked after a meeting with his boss in a car in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Fahy took an action for unfair dismissal against the company, Shane Cawley (Transport) Limited.
There was also evidence that Fahy had struck a door with a lorry in Rugby in June 2009 causing £2,100 worth of damage; that in August 2009 he was accused of hitting a car on Holyhead docks; that in November 2009 he was accused of reversing his trailer into another trailer at Holyhead Port; and in March 2009 he was accused of hitting the door of the Dublin hub, causing damage and expense to the company.
The tribunal heard Fahy was employed from June 11, 2007 and brought pallets between Dublin and England.
On May 21, 2009, he arrived in Birmingham around 3:45 p.m. and off-loaded the truck. He walked to a nearby social club to watch sport and have a beer with another driver.
He consumed two pints of lager and lemonade, two ham and cheese rolls and a steak and kidney pie. He had been very tired that day as he had only three hours sleep the previous evening because of the heat in the truck.
He had another beer and returned to his truck at around 7:30 p.m. He spoke to some forklift drivers at a nearby chip van and returned to his truck at 8 p.m.
He returned to his truck and set up his bed and went online to check if his wages had been lodged. He had been very stressed when speaking to the managing director who accused him of being drunk.
He stated he wasn't but that he was very tired. He also said he didn't have his dentures in.
The reason he rang was because he had no cash and he needed to put some fuel in the truck for the return trip home. He also said he would call the police to give him a breath test.
Fahy and two friends subsequently met the managing director in a car in Carrick on Shannon and he was sacked.
The tribunal found Fahy had been unfairly dismissed as it had been "procedurally unfair" and awarded him €3,500.
The Sligo Champion
Tests After HIV Scare
REVELATIONS that a senior health worker with HIV assisted at operations and was in regular contact with patients at Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar have been condemned by independent Councilor Michael Kilcoyne.
“The Health Service Executive (HSE) must ensure that this never happens again, anywhere in Ireland,” said Kilcoyne.
“The news that 63 patients have to be screened in Mayo General Hospital this week because it has emerged this health worker has HIV will cause unnecessary worry for the people involved. I understand this problem has been ongoing for a lengthy period of time and should receive the most urgent attention.”
The worker, who may have been in a senior position assisting at operations, is not an Irish national and no longer works at the Castlebar hospital. However, the HSE West declined to comment on this.
In a statement, it did confirm that 63 patients have been asked to attend for screening this week “as a result of a diagnosis of HIV in a healthcare worker who worked at Mayo General Hospital.”
It stressed, “The risk to patients is extremely low, however, screening is good practice and is being undertaken as a precautionary measure.”
The spokeswoman said the doctors of those affected would be contacted to make arrangements for their patients to be tested, and that the relevant patients would be contacted directly by letter.
A 2005 HSE report on preventing blood-borne diseases says there have only been two incidents worldwide of health workers transmitting HIV to a patient. Furthermore, international research identifies the risk of transmission as extremely unlikely.
Similar investigations in the U.K. over the past 20 years, which tested 10,000 patients, have never identified a case of HIV infection from a healthcare worker.
The HSE statement noted that, while Department of Health guidelines for the prevention of transmission of blood-borne diseases does not recommend screening for healthcare workers for
HIV, it is currently under review. The statement also confirms that all healthcare employees have an obligation to inform their employer if they may have contracted a blood borne virus.
Heartless Photo Theft
ROSCOMMON Gardai (police) have issued an appeal for information in relation to the theft of baby photographs from a young couple’s car while they visited the grave of their infant daughter.
The couple had laid their baby daughter to rest on Sunday, May 27, and were visiting their child’s grave on Monday, June 4 when a thief broke into their car outside Strokestown Cemetery.
The thief smashed a passenger window and snatched the mother’s handbag containing cash, credit cards and a black Apple iPhone 4S, which had the only photographs the couple have of their baby girl.
Gardai are now appealing to the public to assist them in recovering the photographs.
“The couple buried their daughter on Sunday, and went to visit the grave on their own on Bank Holiday Monday. What really has upset them is they had taken pictures of their baby with the iPhone before she was buried and they are the only pictorial record they have of their baby,” said Sergeant Paul McDermott.
Gay Attitudes Must Improve
STORMONT must do more to challenge negative attitudes towards the North’s gay community, a Derry gay rights activist has said.
John O’Doherty, director of the Rainbow Project, was speaking after the publication of a report found that more than a quarter of people in the North would mind a gay, lesbian or bisexual person living next door.
O’Doherty said while government continues to treat the gay and transgender people as second class citizens, there is the risk that this is how they will be viewed by the general public.
The Equality Commissions report found that over a quarter of people (27%) would mind a gay, lesbian or bisexual person living next door, compared to 14% in 2005. The report also revealed 42% said they would be unhappy about a gay person becoming an in-law.
Around a third of people (35%) would mind a transgender person as a work colleague, rising to 40% as a neighbor and 53% as an in-law.
“What this report clearly shows is that not enough is being done to address the negative perceptions that exist. While government ministers continue to refuse to introduce legislation to allow same sex couples to adopt children or get married, no consideration is given to the impact this has on attitudes towards our community,” O’Doherty said.
O’Doherty says good relations policy must also extend to the LGBT communities.
Foyle SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood said the report questions the “illusion of progress emanating from Stormont’s leadership.”
Derry Sinn Fein councilor Patricia Logue described the report as “ an appalling indictment on attitudes within our society.”
Shocking Seal Discovery
VOLUNTEERS at the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary were horrified recently when they discovered two severed seal heads nailed to the sign outside their premises.
The severed heads of a grey seal and a harbor seal were fixed to two wooden placards with the words “RIP Cull” and “I Am Hungry” painted in red.
Staff at the sanctuary initially thought the heads were from two seals they have been nursing back to health with a view to releasing them back into the wild this week. This proved not to be the case, but the gruesome scene left volunteers at the center in shock.
"We are absolutely horrified, disgusted and upset. To come into work and find that, at first you think am I really seeing this, is this for real?" said seal sanctuary volunteer Emily Butt. "Your mind can't comprehend that you are seeing something that sick."
Seven volunteers work at the sanctuary where they care for injured and orphaned seals as well as birds and other wildlife.
"My first thought was that our two seals, which we had been caring for, had been killed," Butt added.
"They weren't but this was still animal cruelty; it goes against everything we are trying to achieve here."
Dingle Gardai said the investigation into the incident was ongoing. "We are making enquiries around the area and interviewing anyone that has information," said Dingle Garda Sergeant Noel Burke.