Comments by a work colleague that Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh felt dishonorable and condescending were the catalyst for her case against RTÉ, according to insiders at the national broadcaster.
The TV and radio presenter was so upset by what was allegedly told her that she filed a formal complaint.
But the matter ended before the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) when Ms. Ní Chofaigh felt she was being cast aside after filing the complaint.
51 years old Nationwide The presenter yesterday dropped the case, in which she was accused of sexual harassment and victimization, just as the case was about to be heard.
As a result, the full details of her allegations may never be made public, unless Ms Ní Chofaigh chooses to proceed with a separate but related case to the Supreme Court.
An RTÉ source said the colleague who allegedly made the remarks to her in the aftermath of an event did not appreciate how they could be interpreted.
An investigation took place but its exact results are not widely known.
The WRC was told an investigative report included the names of three people, including a “public figure”.
RTÉ sources said Ms Ní Chofaigh felt her career was affected after she reported the matter in 2019.
“Her feeling is that she was taken advantage of because she raised the issue,” the source said.
A four-day hearing on her claim under the Equal Employment Act was conducted at Lansdowne House in Ballsbridge, Dublin.
However, her attorney Claire Bruton said the claim was withdrawn and read a statement that had been agreed between the parties.
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“The claimant withdrew his proceedings before the Workplace Relations Committee. Plaintiff withdrew the allegation of discrimination against the defendant,” the attorney said.
“Plaintiff accepts the results of the RTÉ investigation proceedings regarding all matters.
“The parties confirm that they are both satisfied that an agreement has been reached to draw a line in the sand and continue these matters based on their ongoing working relationship.
“The claimant confirmed no compensation was paid to her in the context of the settlement.”
RTÉ has denied the allegations.
Ní Chofaigh was not present when the statement was read.
At a preliminary hearing earlier this year, arbitration officer Breiffni O’Neill said a number of “famous individuals” had to give evidence.
It is understood that witnesses were only disappointed yesterday when the resolution of the matter occurred shortly before the hearing began.
Mr O’Neill also spoke about one aspect of the statement regarding alleged comments made after an event. He had planned to hear this part of the case in a private session.
It is unclear whether Ms Ní Chofaigh still intends to pursue the personal injury claim by the Supreme Court separately.
Colleagues believe the case against RTÉ is unlikely in the event that Ms. Ní Chofaigh continues to work for the national broadcaster. However, so far there has been no announcement of the cessation of production.
Neither Ms. Ní Chofaigh nor her lawyers responded to questions on the matter.
Ní Chofaigh also declined to comment on the case when it was filed in 2020.
Since then, there has been little activity in the case and no court hearings.
Last May, while the WRC requirement still existed, RTÉ said the presenter would continue his role with Nationwide.
While the mother-of-four has been tight-lipped about her now-withdrawn complaint, she has previously spoken about a previous incident in which she said she was sexually harassed at work.
She said this happened when she took her first job at RTÉ more than 30 years ago and the incident was the subject of an internal investigation.
In an interview with Newstalk in 2008, she revealed its devastating impact on her life.
“Back then, no one understood sexual harassment,” she said. “I understand it as a feeling, what it makes you feel, but I have no words to articulate it.
“I don’t even understand what you call it, but someone is trying to undermine you by making you feel dirty and sexually suggestive – that’s the only definition I have for it because I used to be there.
“I find myself in a rather serious situation with an internal investigation instigated by myself because of what I went through with a male colleague.
“At 18, to find myself, ‘Oh my God, my God, what happened?’ and this thing, the investigation, is running in front of me like a machine and I can’t control it.
“To see yourself in front of the clothes, people ask questions and don’t know how you’re feeling.”
Ms. Ní Chofaigh describes herself as very naive when she started working at RTÉ and believes that people took advantage of her.
The culprit in that case is dead. RTÉ never discloses the results of its investigations.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-news/sleazy-and-demeaning-comments-sparked-blathnaids-ni-chofaighs-sexual-harassment-complaint-41974360.html ‘Sloppy and demeaning’ comments sparked complaints of sexual harassment by Blathnaid Ní Chofaigh