Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Civil servant settles High Court action

A senior civil servant who lifted the lid on alleged mismanagement at a cross-border agency has settled a High Court action brought over his treatment.

Brian McTeggart sued both Waterways Ireland and his employers in the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).

But mid-way through a trial due to last for at least three weeks an out-of-court resolution was reached between the parties.

Mr McTeggart is to receive an undisclosed sum as part of the settlement without any admission of liability by either defendant.

He will also have his legal costs paid under the terms of the agreement.

The 54-year-old, from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, claimed for personal injuries, loss and damage allegedly sustained during his time working as director of corporate services at Waterways Ireland — one of six north-south implementation bodies set up under the Good Friday Agreement.

He represented himself in the lawsuit, brought after receiving £50,000 in a separate industrial tribunal case settled again without liability being admitted.

Mr McTeggart, who joined Waterways Ireland in 2000 to help set up a headquarters in Enniskillen, made allegations concerning senior appointments, bullying and management of the organisation. A failure of leadership, patronage, political influence from the Republic and malpractice of appointments was also alleged.

This whistle-blowing set in motion an investigation involving Government officials on both sides of the border which lasted almost two years.

Mr McTeggart was told his offer of employment, which he could not formally take up due to the probe, had been formally withdrawn in March 2005.

In his High Court action he sought damages against both bodies for an alleged campaign which he said caused his health to suffer and “blighted” his career.

Following the settlement Mr McTeggart said: “I had complained about gross mismanagement, malpractice in senior appointments and a culture of bullying and harassment in the largest cross-border body. I was targeted and bullied and harassed.”

The civil servant added that an investigation by the DCAL in Northern Ireland and the Department of Community Rural and Gaelteacht Affairs in the Republic upheld that he had been bullied.

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