Extra charge coming against Deirdre Foley in Clerys case, court told

Businesswoman already faces a charge of impeding a WRC inspector and three counts of breaking protection of employment laws

Businesswoman Deirdre Foley  already faces a charge of impeding a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) inspector and three counts of breaking protection of employment laws.

Businesswoman Deirdre Foley already faces a charge of impeding a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) inspector and three counts of breaking protection of employment laws.

 

An extra charge is to be brought again businesswoman Deirdre Foley who is facing trial over collective redundancies at Clerys department store in Dublin.

Ms Foley already faces a charge of impeding a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) inspector and three counts of breaking protection of employment laws.

Her co-defendants are Mark Redmond and Brendan Cooney, OCS Operations Ltd and Natrium Ltd which in 2015 bought the department store on O’Connell Street.

They are due to go on trial at Dublin District Court in January. However, the case was listed again on Tuesday before Judge John Brennan for mention in relation to compliance with an earlier disclosure order.

Prosecution counsel Breffni Gordon told Judge Brennan that two additional summonses have been authorised and are to come before the court later this month.

Ms Foley’s barrister, Remy Farrell SC, said he understood they were obstruction charges which are to be brought against the businesswoman and her co-accused, Mark Redmond.

Books of evidence and 11 boxes of material have already been handed over to the defence following disclosure orders made at earlier stages by Judge Brennan.

He adjourned the case for four weeks when it will be listed again for mention.

The criminal proceedings have been brought by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the WRC.

OCS Operations petitioned the High Court for liquidation on June 12th, 2015. This was followed by the collective redundancies in which 460 people lost their jobs, 130 of them directly employed by Clerys, the court has heard.

Earlier, the district court was told that during the investigation a laptop was seized at the offices of Ms Foley’s firm, D2 Private Ltd, but it was returned to her after a forensic image of it was taken.

OCS Operations Ltd, which faces three charges, operated Clerys Department Store and Warehouse, from 2012 until a liquidator was appointed in June 2015, when it ceased trading.

The alleged offences are under the Protection of Employment Act for failing to initiate consultations with representatives of employees affected by the collective redundancies in OCS Operations Ltd, failing to supply employee representatives with all relevant information relating to the redundancies and not notifying the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in writing on June 12th, 2015.

There is one charge against Natrium Ltd, the company that took over OCS Operations Ltd in 2015 and which is co-owned by Ms Foley and a UK-based business which has an 80 per cent stake. Natrium Ltd is accused of obstructing or impeding a WRC inspector on June 27th last year at 25-28 North Wall Quay in Dublin, the company’s address.

Ms Foley, of Hollybank Avenue, Upper Ranelagh, Dublin, faces four charges. One count alleges that it was with her consent or connivance that Natrium Ltd impeded a WRC inspector on June 12th, 2015. The other three charges are under the Protection of Employment Act for failing to initiate consultations with representatives of employees, failing to supply them with all relevant information relating to the redundancies and not notifying the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in writing on June 12th, 2015.

Mr Redmond, of Belfry Dale, Citywest Road, Saggart, Co Dublin is an employee of D2 Private Ltd. He faces the same charges for allegedly failing to notify the Minister or consult with workers’ representative or provide them with relevant information about the redundancies.

Mr Cooney, a director of OCS Operations Ltd, with an address at Weirview Drive, Stillorgan, Co Dublin faces the same charges plus an additional one under the Workplace Relations Act for giving false or misleading information to an inspector.