BBC Sports presenter Jackie Fullerton has became embroiled in the case of Jerome Quinn who is alleging racial discrimination and unfair dismissal by the BBC.
Former GAA sports journalist Jerome Quinn, who was sacked by the BBC last year after having been discovered criticising his employer through anonymous posts on an internet forum, made the claims on the second day of his fair employment tribunal in Belfast. yesterday.
The Omagh man, who is representing himself in the tribunal which is expected to last all week, launched a blistering attack on his former employer as he opened his case on Monday alleging a “Protestant and British prejudice” within the organisation.
Mr Quinn, who presented The Championship for 17 years, yesterday claimed Mr Fullerton had liaised with his BBC boss to ensure a judging panel for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in 2008 would not favour a GAA winner.
In his role as organiser of the judging panel for the awards, Mr Quinn said he had a meeting with Mr Fullerton in which he “made it very clear that GAA should not have a chance of winning against someone who had won a medal at the Olympics or a Ryder Cup tournament.” Mr Quinn alleged that he received an email soon after from his sports editor to enquire about the judging panel and make a change to the panel that would “lessen the chances of the GAA person winning the award”.
Yesterday’s three-member panel, sitting at Killymeal House, heard further statements from Mr Quinn, who was revealed to have claimed Job Seeker’s Allowance at one stage since being dismissed, relating to how the “GAA suffered on a daily basis” in terms of its coverage on BBC radio and television.
He added that he had been made aware of a rumour in January this year blaming him for endangering the personal safety of his former boss after his picture was posted on a GAA forum.
Mr Quinn denied having anything to do with the picture and said subsequent discussion on the matter within the BBC may have unfairly formed part of the reasons for his dismissal.
BBC lawyers are expected to begin their cross-examination of Mr Quinn today.
The case continues.