The SIPTU Workers’ Rights Centre has secured an award for a member employed by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) following his unfair dismissal after 37 years of service. In a decision made yesterday (Thursday, 14th December), the Workplace Relations Commission found the IFI had unfairly dismissed the employee, Pat Gorman, and that from the outset of the process he had not been “treated fairly or reasonably”. The decision also found that it was clear that his CEO sought to “off the record” influence the internal investigation into his conduct SIPTU WRC Advocate, Marie O’Connor, said: “Pat was suspended on foot of anonymous allegations including one which related to an IFI tractor. Pat was not afforded the opportunity to confirm the longstanding arrangement in place in relation to the storage of this vehicle at his property and that his line manager was aware of the situation. None of the allegations were upheld against him in the investigation.”   She added: “Pat was dismissed for allowing his teenage son to drive the tractor when returning it to his place of work, Cong Hatchery in county Mayo and taking a rigid inflatable boat out onto Lough Mask while on suspension. This led his local community to believe that he was dismissed for alleged misuse of public assets. There was a campaign of allegations against him and his family. However, he has now been fully exonerated.” Pat Gorman said: “I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Marie O’Connor for her professionalism in representing me in this case. I also wish to express my sincere gratitude to my wife, family and friends that have supported me through this traumatic and difficult period.”