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City hotelier seeks court injunction to stop dismissal



Date Published: {J}

By Aodhan O’Faolain

The High Court will this week rule on whether to grant the general manager of Citywest Hotel in Dublin an injunction restraining his employers from dismissing him.

John Glynn (59), who previously managed the Clayton Hotel in Galway, is seeking the High Court order as part of his legal challenge to prevent his dismissal. Mr Glynn claims that Sean Whelan, chairman of the Jim Mansfield Group, which owns Citywest, has been trying to undermine him since last May.

The claims are denied. In an affidavit to the court businessman Jim Mansfield said that Mr Glynn was removed from his role, and offered an alternative position which was refused, due to his own failings.

At the High Court on Friday Mr Justice Sean Ryan said that he will rule on Mr Glynn’s application for an interlocutory injunction preventing his removal from his position of general manager of the hotel pending the trial of the action next Friday. He is also seeking an order restoring him to his position.

He says he has not been afforded fair procedures and is the victim of a "concerted action" by the defendant to remove him for reasons he is not even sure of.

John Traynor SC for Mr Glynn, Chequer Hill, Barnaslignan Lane, Kilternan, Dublin said his client had been appointed manager of one of the biggest hotels in Europe and had been without salary since his dismissal, without proper reasons being given, on Christmas Eve.

Counsel said that Mr Glynn was entitled to notice and fair procedure. He said that the lowest bottle washer in the hotel’s kitchens was entitled to fair procedures yet the "captain of the ship" had "to walk the plank" without the benefit of such procedures.

He said he first became general manager of Citywest in 1998 and successfully operated the venue until 2005 when he left to become manager of the Clayton Hotel in Galway in which he also invested. In August 2008, he said, Jim Mansfield and his wife Anne Mansfield persuaded him to return as general manager of Citywest.


A dispute arose between Mr Glynn and Mr Whelan relating to traffic management issues at Disney on Ice show before Christmas, and Mr Whelan wrote a letter accusing him (Glynn) of acting unprofessionally and demanding an apology.

Mr Glynn said he discussed this with his management team who, he said, agreed it was uncalled for. He then tore up the letter and returned it to Mr Whelan in that condition in what he said was "a moment of weakness"

He said he spoke with Jim Mansfield who informed him Mr Whelan was taking legal advice over the letter incident and three days later he was told by Mr Whelan that following a meeting with members of the Mansfield family, it was agreed he would be immediately dismissed.

Michael Howard SC for the defendants urged the court not to grant an injunction, as Mr Glynn had not made out that there is a fair issue to be tried. Counsel argued that affidavits to the court from Mr Jim Mansfielld and Mr Whelan showed that there was serious factual dispute between the parties.

Counsel added that the balance of convenience did not favour granting the injunction and at this stage damages could be seen to be an adequate remedy.

In his affidavit to the court Sean Whelan denied that Mr Glynn was not afforded fair procedures. Mr Whelan also rejected any allegations that his conduct was unprofessional, and claimed that Mr Glynn failed to demonstrate an ability to accept the decisions of his superior.

He said that Mr Glynn’s employment with Citywest, where he was hired to bring  in business to the hotel and conference centre, was not a success due to his own failings.

He said that he told Mr Glynn in November 2009 that he was not happy with his performance and gave him a month to improve the situation or he would have to dismiss him.

Jim Mansfield also said that at no stage was it agreed that Mr Glynn was to be in sole charge of the hotel and conference centre as he had claimed, and Mr Glynn was deeply mistaken in his belief that he had no obligation to report to or take instructions from Mr Whelan.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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