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exclusive Stormont department apologises and drops its legal challenge over whistleblower

Agriculture officials abandon attempt to overturn tribunal judgment that civil servant was hounded out of her job after voicing concerns

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DAERA's DUP minister Edwin Poots (left) and Dr Tamara Bronckaers (right)

DAERA's DUP minister Edwin Poots (left) and Dr Tamara Bronckaers (right)

DAERA's DUP minister Edwin Poots (left) and Dr Tamara Bronckaers (right)

A Stormont department has “unreservedly apologised” and abandoned its attempt to overturn a devastating industrial tribunal judgment that a civil servant was hounded out of her job because she blew the whistle on potential fraud and animal suffering.

Despite walking away from its defence of the claim, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) says it does not yet know how much public money it has wasted on fighting a case which now is likely to cost taxpayers well over £1m and which undermines Stormont’s claims to have learned from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Inquiry’s recommendations that it should listen to whistleblowers.


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