Guard drops claim against McManus’ Limerick estate

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A SECURITY guard, employed at the stately home of multi-millionaire JP McManus, who was fired after allegedly sleeping on the job, has discontinued an unfair dismissal case against his former employers.

The claim by John Aylmer (32) of Ballyvistea, Emly, Co Tipperary was dropped before it was due to be heard at an Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) on Tuesday.

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There was no information available on whether or not a settlement was reached between the parties.

 

Last November, the EAT heard detailed information about the security arrangements at the McManus mansion and its surrounding 400-acre holding. The tribunal heard Mr Aylmer was caught sleeping during a “covert, unannounced penetration test” of the security perimeter of the McManus estate.

“He was sound asleep, and he could be heard snoring from outside the security hut,” said Mairead McKenna BL, acting for the respondent, Noreen McManus, trading as Martinstown Stud.

Mr Aylmer – who denied sleeping on the job – had sought to be reinstated in his former position after he was sacked in 2010. He claimed he was unfairly dismissed, and not given the minimum notice of termination of his contract.

Ms McKenna said that on June 8, 2010 Mr Aylmer was found asleep in a security hut at one of the three entrances to the estate when former head of security, DJ Roche and independent security analyst, James Broderick, “engaged in a covert an unannounced penetration test” to check the potency of the estate’s security system.

“A security dog, called ‘Pickles’, was barking aggressively and loudly at the two ‘intruders’. But all the while he remained comatose,” Ms McKenna said.

Mr Roche and Mr Broderick are alleged to have observed Mr Aylmer sleeping at 3.20am for a 20-minute period.

Colin Morrissey, solicitor for Mr Alymer, said his client had an “excellent work record” spanning ten years as a security guard at Martinstown.

“Mr Alymer was very proud of his position and refutes all of the allegations,” he said.

At the time, ten full-time security officers worked at the estate and their job was to protect the McManus family, the house and all its assets, and to make regular patrols. The tribunal was told that a laser beam extended around the estate, and that if breached, it would trigger an intruder alert on a screen at the main security lodge.

Above: Martinstown House, the Limerick home of JP and Noreen McManus.