NI Police Pay for Anti-Catholic Bias

NI Police Pay for Anti-Catholic Bias
July 12th, 2007  

Topic: NI Police Pay for Anti-Catholic Bias

NI Police Pay for Anti-Catholic Bias
Police pay for anti-Catholic bias

The PSNI (Police Service Northern Ireland) have been ordered to pay nearly 45,000 to a Protestant police photographer who suffered a catalogue of discrimination for marrying a Catholic.

He was told she was a "*****" and his decision to marry her meant he couldn't be trusted.
The tribunal heard that two senior officers tried to make Stephen Murphy's life "as difficult as possible" and to force him to leave.
He was warned his life was in danger and colleagues may have leaked details.
The Fair Employment Tribunal has ruled that Mr Murphy should be re-engaged in the PSNI by 16 July 2007.
Mr Murphy, a Protestant, had worked for two years for the RUC in the 1980s and became a civilian photographer in 1998.
The tribunal heard two officers, known only as Inspector F and Acting Sergeant K, worked to make life difficult as he was a Presbyterian and was engaged to a Catholic woman.
He was given unfavourable hours and subjected to a poor annual review.
Remarks were made by other officers that his fiancee was a "*****" in the presence of an acting sergeant, the tribunal was told.
Later, the tribunal heard that police told his new wife he was a "lunatic" and warned his father-in-law he was a danger.
The tribunal also heard that a wedding present, sent by the state pathologist, Professor Jack Crane, to Mr Murphy at Knocknagoney police station was never received.
Mr Murphy suffered panic attacks and was unable to sleep as a result of the treatment. He had to take sick leave. During that time, it was reported that a court exhibit prepared by him was removed and dumped in a bin.
He said he believed this was done deliberately to discredit him further.
When he was deemed fit to return to work, he was not reinstated immediately. His sick payments had run out, his wife was pregnant and he had to take work as a hospital photographer.
The tribunal heard that he was then dismissed, without a proper disciplinary hearing, for working while on sick leave.
When he appealed to the Policing Board, they found his dismissal had been too harsh. However, he was not reinstated.
In its ruling, the tribunal said: "The reason why the treatment was afforded to the claimant is clear. It was because he was engaged to and subsequently married a Catholic.
"The decision was made to attempt to force the claimant out of the police, or at least from Knocknagoney police station. On foot of that decision, steps were taken over a number of years to bring that about." The PSNI were not in attendance nor were they represented at the fair employment tribunal.

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