Head of army reserve union seeks to stop misconduct action

Thomas Walsh alleged to have claimed payments for days he was away from work

The General Secretary of the Reserve Defence Force’s Representative Association (RDFRA) has brought a High Court action aimed at stopping disciplinary proceedings over alleged gross misconduct.

The General Secretary of the Reserve Defence Force’s Representative Association (RDFRA) has brought a High Court action aimed at stopping disciplinary proceedings over alleged gross misconduct.

Thu, Jul 25, 2013, 19:02

The General Secretary of the Reserve Defence Force’s Representative Association (RDFRA) has brought a High Court action aimed at stopping disciplinary proceedings over alleged gross misconduct.

Thomas Walsh, General Secretary of the Association since 2008, is facing allegations of financial irregularities which he fears could result in his dismissal.

The allegations include he claimed payments to which he was not entitled, including for days when it is alleged he was away from his work place engaged as an assistant facilities manager on matchdays at Croke Park. It is also alleged he wrongfully submitted false and bogus claims for expenses which he was not entitled to.

Mr Walsh, who denies any wrongdoing, says he was shocked by the allegations and contends the disciplinary process is flawed.

Mr Walsh, Martinstown Lane, Ballysax, The Curragh, Co Kildare, claims he cannot get a fair hearing at the proposed disciplinary hearing. He says he was first made aware of the allegations last May shortly before he was due to return work after being out for some months on sick leave.

He claims he has not been provided with full details, including documents or the terms of reference underlying the investigation. The RDFRA, he claims, has refused to give him material required to fully defend the allegations in breach of his contractual and procedural rights to fair procedure.

He claims attended a meeting described as a fact finding inquiry last June with members of the RDFRA executive. He was asked questions about the alleged financial irregularities, told a report of their findings would be presented to the National Executive and matters would proceed from there, he claims.

During a recess, one of those questioning him told him it would be better if he resigned, he claims.

Last week, Mr Walsh obtained temporary injunctions preventing RDFRA continuing with the disciplinary process or dismissing him unless the process complies with natural and constitutional justice.

The Association rejects Mr Walsh’s claims and want the injunctions lifted. It denies the disciplinary process is unfair and argue Mr Walsh is well aware of the allegations against him.

When the matter was mentioned yesterday, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy was told there was some degree of urgency in having it determined. The judge adjourned the matter to next Tuesday.