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A figure of controversy who’s determined to fight her corner


Anne Donaghy

Anne Donaghy

Anne Donaghy

High-profile suspended council boss Anne Donaghy, who has been at the centre of controversy for over a year, was never going to leave the stage quietly.

In December her solicitor Kevin Winters announced she would be taking legal action.

“I now do so without any hesitation,” she said as she lodged a claim with the Fair Employment Tribunal.

“I am really looking forward to the chance to contest all the flawed decision-making directed against me by the council and other named individuals. This case cannot come quickly enough for me.”

Mr Winters said: “This application has been filed with the tribunal against a backdrop of a toxic campaign of vilification based on systemic leaks by the council to sections of the media.

“I must stress this claim is part of wider legal agitation by the applicant, which will also include plans for separate High Court litigation against the council.”

In her tribunal claim, Ms Donaghy refers to a whistleblowing complaint against her by a council official last June.

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She claims the council failed “to ascertain if the complaint was made in good faith”.

She said “no preliminary investigation was undertaken” and there was “no basis for the appointment of an external investigator”.

She alleges the investigation report was “not fair or balanced and any findings of fact are, at best, speculative”.

Ms Donaghy said: “Despite making many requests for details of the allegations against me, I was only provided with same on the morning of my investigation interview.

“I was not given any or adequate time to prepare for this investigation.”

Last autumn three staff members made complaints of bullying harassment against the council chief executive.

She says she first became aware of the identity of the investigator appointed to deal with these complaints in the media.

Ms Donaghy claims the council failed to deal with her formal complaint against an official and failed to progress a complaint “made by me and others” regarding the conduct of another staff member.

The chief executive says she was suspended while on sick leave in November two months after the bullying harassment complaints were made.

“What circumstances had changed to warrant my suspension? Who took the decision to suspend me?” she said.

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