Updated: 07/02/18 : 09:20:23
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Legal row over computer data delays Sligo woman's trial

A legal row over complex computer data evidence has delayed the trial of Sligo native businesswoman Deirdre Foley on charges linked to redundancies at the Clerys department store in Dublin.

OCS Operations Ltd petitioned the High Court for liquidation on 12 June 2015.

In collective redundancies 460 people lost jobs, with 130 of them directly employed by the O'Connell Street store, which was later bought by Natrium Ltd.

Ms Foley, from Riverstown, was due to go on trial at Dublin District Court last month but it was deferred when a charge for impeding a Workplace Relations Commission inspector was withdrawn following legal argument about the preparation of witness statements.

Ms Foley, co-defendant Mark Redmond and OCS Operations (now in liquidation) are contesting the remaining charges for breaking protection of employment laws.

The case was listed again today for a new trial date to be set.

Defence lawyers alleged there had not been full compliance with an earlier order granting disclosure of prosecution evidence.

Judge John Brennan was told that this related to complex computer data and Breffni Gordon BL, prosecuting, said that everything humanly possible had been done to comply with the order.

He also intended to call a computer analyst to give evidence in response to the defence complaints.

Judge Brennan adjourned the case until 14 March when the issue will be addressed.

He said that the new trial dates for Ms Foley, Mr Redmond and OCS Operations Ltd will be fixed then.

Natrium Ltd is no longer facing any charges arising from the redundancies at Clerys.

Ms Foley, who had a 20% stake in Natrium, faces trial on charges under the Protection of Employment Act for failing to initiate consultations with representatives of employees, failing to supply them with all relevant information relating to the redundancies and not notifying the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in writing, on 12 June 2015 which can result, on conviction, in a fine.

She and the two co-defendants are contesting the charges.

Mark Redmond, of Belfry Dale, Citywest Road, Saggart, Co Dublin, is an employee of D2 Private Ltd, a firm owned by Deirdre Foley. He faces the same charges.

OCS Operations Ltd also faces the same charges, as well as another for failing to keep records as required to ensure compliance with the Protection of Employment Act.

A fresh prosecution began at Dublin District Court yesterday involving six new charges against OCS director James Brydie, who has an address at Kingsmere Road, London.

Mr Brydie did not attend the hearing but the case was adjourned until 9 April in his absence to give him an opportunity to appear before the court.

He is accused of impeding and giving false or misleading information to a WRC inspector, as well as four counts of breaking protection of employment laws.