WRC rejects unfair dismissal claim taken against owners of Regency Hotel

Wrc Rejects Unfair Dismissal Claim Taken Against Owners Of Regency Hotel
Regency Hotel, © PA Archive/PA Images
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Gordon Deegan

A State workplace watchdog has dismissed an unfair dismissal action taken by a family member against the family who own the former Regency Hotel in Dublin.

In the case, Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Adjudicator, Jim Dolan has found that the unfair dismissal complaint submitted by Edel McGettigan against the McGettigan family owned firm is not well-founded.


In a decision published on Thursday, Mr Dolan states in this particular case the employer is a family owned and managed business and some family members are in senior management positions.

He said at some stage Ms McGettigan “spoke to the Chairman of the company who happens to be her father-in-law”.

He said: “Whatever methods that were adopted to address issues were, at times, not the methods one would normally find in the workplace."

In her complaint form, Ms McGettigan - who represented herself in the case - stated that she was dismissed from her employment on November 5th 2021.


However, in his findings, Mr Dolan stated that he could find no evidence of any dismissal taking place.

He said: “There was no disciplinary process followed and regarding constructive dismissal there is no letter of resignation.”

Mr Dolan said that the employer in the case stated that Ms McGettigan is still technically an employee of the company.

Mr Dolan stated: “I would suggest that the complainant utilise a proper grievance procedure to address any problems that may still exist.”


The Regency hotel on the Swords Rd, Whitehall made headlines in February 2016 when Kinahan crime gang associate, David Byrne was shot dead by gunmen that sparked the murderous Kinahan-Hutch feud.

In a sworn statement before the High Court in 2016 concerning the Regency business, director, James McGettigan stated that the Regency hotel had suffered immense reputational damage and loss of business in the weeks which followed the shooting.

A net insurance pay-out of €150,000 was made to the McGettigan hotel company, Regan Development Ltd as a result of the gangland shooting and its impact on the hotel business.

The 200 bedroom hotel rebranded as the Bonnington in October 2017.


In Ms McGettigan’s claim against ‘Regan Development Regency Centra’, the firm stated that she commenced employment with Regan Development Limited on June 1st 2013 and the firm traded as the Regency Hotel and the Regency Centra.

The hotel and retail firm stated that Ms McGettigan had appointed herself as the General Manager of Regan Development’s Centra.

As part of the rebranding and restructuring of the Regency Hotel business in July 2017, the assets, liabilities, and trade of Regan Development Limited transferred to Liffeyfield Limited.

Ms McGettigan transferred to the McGettigan owned Liffeyfield trading as the Bonnington Centra on August 1st 2017.


The firm stated that Ms McGettigan brought a claim under Section 8 of the Unfair Dismissals Act claiming she was constructively dismissed.

The firm stated that it denies the claim in its entirety stating that Edel McGettigan  “was never dismissed nor ever resigned and henceforth dismissal is firmly in dispute”.

The firm stated that Ms McGettigan was at the time of her lodging her claim in February 2022 an existing employee and continues to be an employee.

The family owned firm stated that Ms McGettgian did not exhaust the internal grievance procedures nor did she actually resign before she had considered herself dismissed.

In the published decision, Mr Dolan records that at hearing, Ms McGettigan submitted a volume of papers.

He said: “These papers were in no order and covered subjects including her return from maternity leave, payment during a period of maternity leave and also the repayment of a loan she had made to her employer.”

The most recent accounts for Liffeyfield Ltd show that it recorded post tax losses of €696,049 in 2021 and this followed post tax losses of €1.36 million in 2020 where both years the business was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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