Irish Whiskey Museum ordered to pay out €25,000 over unfair dismissal

Irish Whiskey Museum Ordered To Pay Out €25,000 Over Unfair Dismissal Irish Whiskey Museum Ordered To Pay Out €25,000 Over Unfair Dismissal
Ms Sylvia McCann received an ‘Employee of the Year' award in 2019. Photo: FRED TANNEAU/AFP via Getty Images
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Gordon Deegan

The company that operates the Irish Whiskey Museum has been ordered to pay out €25,000 compensation after its managing director (MD) was found to have unfairly dismissed his sister-in-law.

Ms Sylvia McCann was the only member of staff made redundant by Irish Whiskey Museum Ltd during the pandemic.

Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Adjudicator Penelope McGrath found that operations manager, Ms McCann was unfairly dismissed and has ordered the €25,000 payout to her.

In her ruling, Ms McGrath stated that she could not ignore the fact that there is significant bad feeling and rancour between Ms McCann and the MD of Irish Whiskey Museum Ltd.

Ms McGrath mentioned that the bad feeling occurred where the MD was married to Ms McCann’s sister and that the marriage appears to have broken down at some point in time prior to the termination of the employment relationship between Ms McCann and the MD.


Ms McGrath said that it is regrettable that she has had sight in the case of communications between a husband and wife “that can only be described as upsetting in its vitriol”.

In her ruling, Ms McGrath stated that there was no reason to select Ms McCann over and above any other member of the staff all of whom were out of the workplace on the PUP and costing the MD nothing.

Ms McCann told the WRC hearing that she was greatly upset by the way she was treated.

Employee of the year

Ms McGrath said that because of the “personal nexus” between Ms McCann and the MD of the Irish Whiskey Museum “I have to be scrupulous in my assessment of the facts and absolutely satisfied that there was a genuine and objectively reasoned redundancy situation”.

Ms McGrath stated that Ms McCann was a highly efficient, dedicated and able operations manager and who got ‘Employee of the Year' in 2019.

In his evidence, the MD stated that, of the 20 employees in the Museum, he had identified Ms McCann’s role as being the only one suitable for redundancy.

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