Paramedics angry at ex-colleague’s return

Former colleage pleaded guilty in court to spying on fellow worker in staff toilet

An ambulance arrives bringing a patient to medical staff working in a hospital’s accident and emergency department. Photograph: Alan Betson

An ambulance arrives bringing a patient to medical staff working in a hospital’s accident and emergency department. Photograph: Alan Betson

 


A motion of no confidence in the National Ambulance Service management has been unanimously passed at a meeting of paramedics in the midwest.

The meeting was called amid anger following the reinstatement of a former Nenagh- based paramedic who had pleaded guilty in court to spying on a colleague in a staff toilet.

Robert Murphy (51) pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment after admitting to recording the activities of a work colleague on his mobile phone.

He paid €5,000 compensation to his victim and escaped a conviction after the judge decided the Probation Act was appropriate.

The fitness-to-practise committee of the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council conducted a hearing into the matter and concluded Mr Murphy’s actions amounted to professional misconduct.

After winning his case at the Employment Appeals Tribunal, Mr Murphy has now been reinstated to a position within the ambulance service.

While Mr Murphy previously worked in the HSE midwest area, he has taken up an administrative role in the HSE west area at the National Ambulance Service training college in Ballinasloe, Co Galway.

It has also emerged that two paramedics in the midwest, who had applied for transfers to the west, will challenge Mr Murphy’s appointment, claiming the post was never advertised and they were overlooked for it.

Following Monday’s meeting, paramedics have begun a campaign of action that they say could escalate to work-to- rule if ambulance management does not intervene.