A FORMER organist at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, has
brought a claim for constructive dismissal against the Cathedral,
and against the Dean, the Very Revd Dermot Dunne, alleging
bullying, harassment, and intimidation.
Judy Martin was the organist and choirmaster at the cathedral
from 2003 until she resigned in February of last year. She has been
described as "one of the finest choral conductors of her
generation", the Employment Appeals Tribunal in Dublin was
The tribunal heard, during opening arguments by Ms Martin's
legal counsel, Peter Shanley, that she was forced to resign from
her job owing to a campaign of "bullying, harassment, and
intimidation" by Dean Dunne.
The counsel for Dean Dunne, Michael MacNamee, said that his
client categorically denied the allegations.
Mr Shanley told the tribunal that his client became the first
female cathedral organist in Irish or British history when she was
offered a contract from Christ Church Cathedral to conduct its
choir in 2003.
She had co-founded the choir at St Mary Magdelen's, Oxford,
before being appointed director of chapel music at Worcester
College, Oxford, in 2001.
Ms Martin served the cathedral without incident until Dean
Dunne, (a former Roman Catholic priest and Archdeacon of Ferns, who
joined the C of I during the 1990s) took over in May 2008, he
Relations between the two broke down, and became progressively
worse, until Ms Martin lodged a formal complaint to a senior
administrator at the cathedral in June 2009. This led to a meeting
between the two, but there was no improvement in their working
The tribunal was told that, in May 2010, Ms Martin said that she
was wrongly accused of misconduct for allegedly communicating
confidential church information to the choir - a claim that, she
said, was "entirely fabricated" - before appearing at a grievance
hearing in which her complaints against the Dean were not upheld,
owing to the lack of documentary evidence.
She took leave of absence, suffering from psychological and
physical illness which she attributed to the alleged bullying. In
February 2011, she tendered her resignation.
Appearing for the Dean, Mr MacNamee said that any problems
between her and Dean Dunne were because of Ms Martin's "resistance
to change" as part of an internal reorganisation.
The hearing was adjourned until November.