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Dr MacCarthy wins compensation

07 March 2014


Predecessor: Jonathan Swift

Predecessor: Jonathan Swift

THE former Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, the Very Revd Dr Robert MacCarthy, has been awarded compensation understood to be in the region of €10,000, in a settlement brokered by the Irish Employment Appeals Tribunal after the termination of his position as chaplain to St Patrick's Hospital, a Dublin institution founded by his famous predecessor, Jonathan Swift.

Dr MacCarthy, who stepped down as Dean in 2012, had been employed as chaplain to St Patrick's Hospital since 2005. He had travelled to Zimbabwe for a three-month work programme after his retirement, but when he returned to St Patrick's Hospital, he was told that his position as chaplain had been given to a local Rector, Canon Mark Gardener.

"I arrived back at the hospital to be told my chaplaincy post was gone," Dr MacCarthy said on Saturday. "I had not been notified, or given a reason or grounds for this action, and was left with no option but to have the matter clarified, which the Employment Appeals Tribunal did."

In a letter seen by the Church Times, which was sent by the hospital CEO, Paul Gilligan, to Dr MacCarthy in February 2013, Mr Gilligan stated: "In November 2012, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, wrote me a letter indicating that the Revd Canon Mark Gardener had been appointed as Church of Ireland Chaplain to the hospital, given that you had retired."

The perceived part played by the Archbishop in replacing Dr MacCarthy was disputed by the former Dean, who said: "St Patrick's Hospital, like the Rotunda Maternity Hospital, is a private hospital, and the board, of which the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Jackson, is a member, appoints the chaplain.

"While the Archbishop would have the right to appoint chaplains to public hospitals in the diocese, my appointment was clearly one for the board, not the Archbishop."

Dr MacCarthy sought mediation on the basis that the hospital had employed him, and paid him independently of the diocese. On Tuesday, the hospital declined to make any comment.

A spokeswoman for Dublin & Glendalough diocese confirmed that the chaplaincy appointment was for the hospital to make, including remuneration. Dr Jackson was unavailable for comment.

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