Greenkeeper unlikely to receive £60K award24th August, 2012 by Colin Victor
An Irish greenkeeper who lost his job has been awarded £60,000 for unfair dismissal.
However, Damon Kirk, 43, who worked at Palmerstown House Golf Club for five years before he was dismissed without warning, is unlikely to receive any money, as Bridford Properties, which owned the golf club, is in receivership. The venue is believed to have accrued debts of about £60 million.
Mr Kirk said his dismissal came as a ‘bolt out of the blue’ after what he claims was a personal attack on him by two managers.
A tribunal was told Mr Kirk enjoyed a good working relationship with staff until a new accountant, Seamus Sutcliffe, was appointed.
Mr Kirk was asked for his input into making the golf course, which catered for corporate play, profitable, and he responded by submitting a budget. However, in May 2010 he was told he was being temporarily laid off. He was informed this was ‘for financial reasons due to restructuring’.
There was no prior indication that redundancies were imminent nor had he any prior indication that the company was having financial difficulties.
It also transpired two new employees were employed approximately two weeks after he was laid off.
Mr Kirk said he was left in ‘limbo’ for weeks and could not get an answer as to whether his dismissal was permanent.
He wrote to the company secretary in September 2010 to say he had not been paid his gross weekly wage since the previous May and arrears of wages were owing to him, together with a bonus payment, but never received a response.
Mr Kirk is now employed as a superintendent at Istanbul Golf Club.