Two judgments due tomorrow

The Court’s diary lists two cases for judgment tomorrow: Fuller & Ors v The Minister for Agriculture; and Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association v An Bord Pleanala (State Reasons). The judgment which was listed for yesterday, Wall v DPP, was postponed.

 

Fuller & Ors v Minister for Agriculture

The Plaintiffs are members of the Civil and Public Service Union (CPSU). In 2003 they took “limited industrial action”. They did not answer phone or fax queries at certain times and did not deal with counter queries at other times. The Minister determined that this constituted an “unauthorised absence from duty” and removed them from the payroll. The Plaintiffs then took all out industrial action, while at the same time issued judicial review proceedings against the Minister’s decision to remove them from the payroll. The dispute was resolved, and the Plaintiffs returned to work after three months. The judicial review proceedings took longer to resolve. It went to the Supreme Court, and the Plaintiffs were successful.

 

In this case, the Plaintiffs are seeking full pay and pension contributions for the period during which they were on strike. In the High Court, they claimed that the Minister’s action in removing them from the payroll caused them to be absent from their employment. The Minister accepted that the Plaintiffs were entitled to their pay and pension entitlements up to the time that they withdrew to the picket lines. But he argued that the strike was an escalation of a dispute which involved other issues and therefore the Plaintiffs were not entitled to pay and pension contributions while they were on strike. The High Court dismissed the Plaintiffs case. Tomorrow’s judgment is, likely, to do with an appeal of that decision.

Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association v An Bord Pleanala relates to a challenge made by a community group to planning permission for the expansion of Ringsend Sewage Treatment Plant.

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