Oonagh Buckley, Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) (Photo: YouTube)

Oonagh Buckley, Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC)

12/03/2018 update: I have written today to Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Oonagh Buckley is accountable to the Minister under Section 14(2) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015. I am calling upon the Minister to remove Pat Brady from office and to rehear our Equal Status complaints.

06/03/2018 update: The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) have stated that “no reply will issue” to this letter of complaint to Oonagh Buckley (Director General).

Cloonsunna,

Castlebar,

Co. Mayo

02 March 2018

Ms Oonagh Buckley

Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission

Lansdowne House,

Lansdowne Road,

Ballsbridge,

Dublin 4

D04 A3A8

 

By Registered Post and Ordinary Post & by email to oonagh.buckley@workplacerelations.ie

CC: Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation

 

Dear Ms Buckley,

 

On Tuesday 06 February 2018 I sent you a report of significant procedural and legal shortcomings in the investigation of four Equal Status complaints by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

As you are aware, Enoch Burke, Ammi Burke, Kezia Burke and I claim that NUI Galway discriminated against us on the ground of our religion. The alleged discrimination by NUI Galway relates particularly to our Christian beliefs on abortion and same-sex marriage.

WRC Adjudication Officer Louise Boyle investigated our complaints against NUI Galway. In our recent correspondence with you, we requested a rehearing of our complaints in accordance with constitutional justice and fair procedures.

In your reply of Monday 12 February 2018, you refused to grant a rehearing of our complaints and did not engage with the matters we had raised. Amongst the questions you have left unanswered are the following:

  • When a witness for NUI Galway gave evidence that our religion had been discussed during a committee meeting, why did Ms Boyle offer to NUI Galway to “strike that off the record”?
  • Why did Ms Boyle refuse to admit evidence of financial irregularity at NUI Galway?
  • Why did Ms Boyle make flippant comments during the hearings e.g. “Oh, it’s going to be appealed anyway” and “I’m not getting paid for overtime”?
  • Why did Ms Boyle ignore extensive legal precedent in her decisions?
  • If Ms Boyle had been appointed as an Equality Officer prior to 01 October 2015, why did she work fulltime for PlanNet21 until June 2016?
  • If Ms Boyle had been appointed as an Equality Officer prior to 01 October 2015, why did she begin conducting regular WRC hearings no earlier than August 2016?
  • Why is there no evidence that Ms Boyle was ever an Equality Officer of the Equality Tribunal?
  • Why did Ms Boyle suddenly take down her LinkedIn profile in January 2018?

In light of your refusal to address these matters, it is disturbing to read the words at the end of your letter: “… no further correspondence will be entertained or responded to on this matter”.

Notwithstanding your injunction, I am moved to write to you again today following a serious matter that has come to my attention over the past number of days.

On Monday 19th February, WRC Adjudication Officer Mr Pat Brady retweeted a video comparing religious MP Jacob Rees-Mogg to Gaddafi, Hussein and Stalin. Mr Brady shared the video publicly. You will be aware of Mr Brady’s Twitter profile, as you are one of his 1,600 Twitter followers. Mr Brady is a senior Adjudication Officer with the WRC, having heard and investigated approximately 300 cases over the past 3 years.

The video is a mockery of Mr Rees-Mogg’s “deeply held Christian beliefs” and focuses on Rees-Mogg’s opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. In the video, Rees-Mogg’s religious beliefs are summed up as “horrifying reactionary values” and “terrible views that can ruin people’s lives”.

Mr Brady’s legal remit as Adjudication Officer includes the investigation of complaints of discrimination on the ground of religion. Any notion that Mr Brady could be impartial and unbiased in the investigation of such complaints is frankly absurd.

The only appropriate course of action is for you to call upon the Minister to exercise her powers under Section 40(7) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 and revoke the appointment of Mr Pat Brady as an Adjudication Officer of the WRC with immediate effect.

It is an extraordinarily serious matter that an Adjudication Officer of the WRC would feel free to publicly promote a video that effectively incites hatred of Christian beliefs on same-sex marriage and abortion. We note that these very beliefs are the key beliefs grounding our case against NUI Galway.

In light of this further revelation regarding the attitude towards Christian belief within the Adjudication Service of the WRC, Enoch Burke, Ammi Burke, Kezia Burke and I reiterate our demand that our complaints against NUI Galway be reheard without delay in accordance with constitutional justice and fair procedures.

Yours sincerely,

__________________________

Isaac Burke

02 March 2018

Pdf version

 

Written by Isaac Burke

Hardiman Scholar at NUI Galway