The case of Luke X
Luke worked for a prominent media outlet for several years, often doing unpaid work. When he raised questions about payment due to him, conditions at work became intolerable and he was forced to leave. Luke took a case of constructive dismissal in the Labour Court. None of his evidence was disputed or questioned by his former employer and the chairperson of the Labour Court suggested twice that the employer should make a settlement. The hearing ended with an ‘ex-gratia’ payment being offered to Luke. Incredibly, three weeks later the Labour Court produced a written ruling against Luke, stating he hadn’t produced any evidence and completely failing to mention the recommendations of the chairperson, nor the fact that an ex-gratia payment had been made. The negative and defamatory ruling was published in the local media. Convinced that the employer’s solicitor had engaged in ‘improper activities’ with the Labour Court after the hearing – but before the Labour Court’s written ruling, Luke took a civil case in the District Court to clear his name. The hearing was scheduled during lunchtime in a ‘private’ courtroom, and an important witness from the Labour Court who had been subpoenaed by Luke failed to appear. Representing himself, Luke produced documents and emails that clearly proved his case but again, incredibly, saw the Court ruling go against him. No action was taken against the absent witness.
Some months later—now struggling on the dole—Luke did some ad-hoc photography work for a local businessman, but he didn’t get paid. The businessman was ‘well-connected’ locally and was the brother of the solicitor in the Labour Court case. Over several months, Luke asked for the paltry €120 owed to him, but was repeatedly ignored. Visiting the businessman’s offices one day, Luke was arrested for harassment. Believing Luke had no evidence, the businessman told Gardai he had never engaged Luke for any work. Other lies were told, resulting in Luke being questioned by Gardai for twelve hours. His home was searched; his computer and all his photography was seized; and it would be fifteen months before his property would be returned to him. Yet Luke was never prosecuted for any offence. When the Gardai did nothing about the businessman’s false allegations Luke lodged a complaint with the Garda Ombudsman for false arrest. Luke describes the GSOC response as ‘a joke’!
Undeterred, Luke then took a civil case against the businessman in the District Court. The Judge was shown the photography work that had been done, along with contractual emails exchanged between both parties, but again, incredibly, the case was thrown out for alleged ‘inconsistencies’. Luke appealed this decision to the Circuit Court, and in late 2012, this time accompanied by I-I members as witnesses, the businessman’s case completely fell apart. Numerous lies and falsehoods were exposed, and the businessman, his solicitor and barrister were all shown to be utterly unscrupulous. Again, subpoenaed witnesses did not attend the hearing, and we await to see if any action will be taken for blatant perjury committed by the lead Defendant.. The case continues..