Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Waterways director's tribunal opens today

Past management practices at a cross-border body will be under the spotlight today when an industrial tribunal hearing opens in Belfast.

The proceedings are being taken by Brian McTeggart, former corporate services director of Waterways Ireland, a publicly-funded north-south organisation.

The body, which has its headquarters in Enniskillen, is contesting the case.

Mr McTeggart made complaints in 2003 concerning alleged bullying and job appointment practices.

His claims led Government departments north and south to jointly commission an outside investigation.

The industrial tribunal case is being taken under public interest disclosure legislation, which was designed to protect employees from being penalised for "whistleblowing".

The hearing is expected to examine the circumstances surrounding Mr McTeggart's departure from Waterways Ireland, against his wishes, in late 2004.

He was moved back to a Northern Ireland government department and his appointment as corporate services director at the organisation was quashed.

Details of the Government-commissioned investigation report on Mr McTeggart's allegations were leaked to this newspaper in 2005.

It concluded that Mr McTeggart had been bullied on more than one occasion by Waterways Ireland chief executive John Martin.

The report stated: "These incidents represent examples of bullying and highly inappropriate behaviour on the part of a senior manager."

Investigators did not uphold a number of other complaints made by Mr McTeggart.

The report also rapped Waterways Ireland for filling two senior posts without open competition.

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