Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 7 Dec 1961

Vol. 192 No. 9

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - West Cork Postman: Termination of Employment.


asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs whether in view of the harshness of the decision taken in terminating the employment of a postman (name supplied) in West Cork he will reconsider his decision, taking into consideration the fact that the man concerned was not guilty of any dishonesty.

All the relevant circumstances were taken into account before the decision was arrived at, and I do not propose to re-open the case.

Would the Minister not agree that it is exceptionally harsh on his part to terminate this man's employment for the offence of giving a few letters addressed to their parents to schoolchildren on an isolated occasion? Is it not very harsh to deprive a man of his livelihood and his wife and family of his income for such a minor offence? While we agree this should not happen, at the same time, the offence was of a very minor nature.

The information at my disposal shows that the man was warned on two previous occasions and on this occasion he admitted the offences to an officer of the Department. The man was suspended there and then by the officer concerned and the Department reported to me and recommended that the man should be dismissed. I agreed with that recommendation.

Does the Minister not agree that depriving a man of his livelihood for giving three letters addressed to their parents to schoolchildren is very harsh? I assume that when the Minister made his decision, he was of opinion that the offence was much more serious and that in actual fact letters were torn up?

I am not under any illusions about this matter. I am concerned with the efficient delivery of letters to the persons to whom they are addressed.

Having regard to all the circumstances in this case and to the fact that the man and his wife and family are in exceptionally poor circumstances, would the Minister agree to reconsider his decision and issue a stern warning to the man, seeing that there was no dishonesty in his action and that he was only doing what others may have done in other circumstances, giving a few letters to children?

In June, 1960, this man was warned. He was taken in and told that if he were again to come under notice for similar, or equally serious, irregularities, he must expect to be dismissed.

Does the Minister say seriously that it is an offence against the regulations for a postman to give letters to the children of the people who should receive them?

The postman is supposed to deliver the letters to the houses to which they are addressed. This postman was not delivering the letters at all. He sat in his own house and the children called coming from school. A letter containing a military service pension draft was lost.

Is that an offence?

My information is that that is not so and the only offence was that this man gave three letters to schoolchildren.

Deputy Murphy might allow Questions to proceed.