‘Nadine picture got me sacked’

Former City of Derry airport employee, Alex Duffy, poses alongside Nadine Coyle. Mr. Duffy was sacked after he posted the picture onto Facebook.

Former City of Derry airport employee, Alex Duffy, poses alongside Nadine Coyle. Mr. Duffy was sacked after he posted the picture onto Facebook.

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A former City of Derry Airport security employee has revealed he was recently dismissed from his job for posting a photograph on Facebook of him and popstar Nadine Coyle while on duty.

Alex Duffy said he was dismayed by the decision, claiming that posing with celebrities at the airport was common practice.

The official reason for his sacking, according to paperwork from his former employers, was: “The photograph ... clearly showed you wearing your City of Derry Airport uniform and clearly showed that you were in the Security Search area. You had previously been given a Written Warning for unacceptable and abusive behaviour in the workplace and posting a comment about a colleague onto Facebook. It is clear that these behaviours had not improved during the eight week interval as you had been told these behaviours should not be repeated and that you should refrain from posting anything onto Facebook that is Company related.”

The letter went on to tell Mr. Duffy that after a disciplinary hearing he was dismissed for Gross Misconduct.

Mr. Duffy, who is also on a local residents’ association, claimed: “The whole thing was blown out of proportion. I asked Nadine: ‘Are you Victoria Beckham?’ She told me she’d heard it before and then posed for the picture. My Facebook profile was set to public so the picture was shared and liked by 850 people. There were 17 comments and some of them were negative but I didn’t write them. I actually wrote Nadine is a great ambassador for the city. I was delighted she shared a joke with us at the airport. I am not critical of Nadine at all.”

It is understood a third party, not Nadine, complained to the airport about the comments. The morning after making the post Mr. Duffy says he was told he was suspended from duty.

“They then told me to report to the airport immediately for a disiplinary hearing.

“I was subsequently sacked with ‘immediate effect.’ I’m 31 and have had to ‘sign on’ for the first time in my life.”

Mr. Duffy also lost his appeal and has since taken his case to the Labour Relations Agency.

A City of Derry spokesperson stated: “We do not comment on staff matters.”