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Ex-BBC host Jerome Quinn claimed jobseekers allowance

Sacked sports presenter Jerome Quinn claimed jobseekers allowance after losing his BBC post, an industrial tribunal heard yesterday.

The revelation came to light on day five of the tribunal, which is hearing claims from Mr Quinn against his former employer.

The Co Tyrone man, who is alleging unfair dismissal and discrimination on the grounds of his Irish Catholic identity, told the tribunal yesterday that he spent last year building professional relationships in an effort to gain freelance work.

The tribunal also heard Mr Quinn registered his details with jobseekers in a bid to find work after his BBC firing.

In an effort to secure regular work, the sports reporter cultivated relationships with news outlets across Ireland and registered his details as a freelance lecturer with educational institutions in the North and South of Ireland.

Day five of the tribunal was the last opportunity for Mr Quinn to detail the amount of money he alleges he has lost as a result of his sacking by the BBC.

During yesterday’s hearing, the tribunal panel heard that on many occasions throughout last year he worked for free in a bid to “sell ideas” through his new web video business to prospective clients.

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These ideas, the tribunal heard, “often did not lead to paid work”, according to Mr Quinn.

Mr Quinn also said that on occasion he did not receive payment for work which was promised to him. As an example, he said: “I did a voice-over job for the University of Ulster at Jordanstown and the promise of pay never materialised.

“So the expense, on my part, was not remunerated.”

The sports journalist also said he was awaiting payment for filming a hockey DVD for a Bangor school.

Mr Quinn was dismissed by the corporation last year after he posted comments online criticising its coverage of Gaelic games.

At Thursday’s hearing he asked the panel if evidence about his finances could be heard in private.

Panel chairman Orla Murray replied: “It is not normal to have the details heard in private.”

He said he would apply for a private hearing.

Yesterday, Mr Quinn’s finances were not heard in private, but monetary details of his 2009 earnings were not articulated at the hearing.

The tribunal continues.

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