Airport worker sacked after posting pic of himself and Girls Aloud star on Facebook
An airport security worker who was sacked after posting a pic of himself and Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle on Facebook has reached out to the star for help - claiming he is on the brink of homelessness after losing his job.
Former City of Derry Airport worker Alex Duffy, 31, was starstruck by the singer and had his picture taken with her in the security area.
But after he posted the snap on Facebook, a number of offensive comments about the star were posted on his page.
He claimed that a number of people close to the star contacted the airport management to complain about the comments and the picture.
After a disciplinary hearing, Alex said that he was dismissed for "gross misconduct and bringing the company into disrepute", reports the Metro.
But Alex, who lost an appeal against his sacking this week, says Nadine did not seem to have a problem with the idea of the pic going on Facebook.
Mr Duffy told the Belfast Telegraph: "My argument the whole time about this is that a complaint was not actually made by the person in question, Nadine Coyle. If she was aware of this, I believe that she would be able to back up my version of events and hopefully come to my defence.
"She had been leaving Derry after that big concert (the opening concert of the City of Culture celebrations) last January.
"When the picture of me with her was getting taken, one of the girls said 'that will be going on Facebook' and Nadine agreed that it would be. There was no problem.
"I didn't think that what I did - taking a photograph and putting it on Facebook - would end up in me losing my job."
He added that his financial situation is now dire, saying: "I live with my girlfriend, Kelly. We are engaged. When I told my landlord that I would be late with my rent, he decided to sell the house we live in.
"He has served me with four weeks' notice. Now I have no income and soon I will be homeless."
According to the Herald, Alex admitted he had already been "on a written warning after an incident in November where I swore at another member of staff when a row became a bit heated."
The newspaper reports that official records of the investigation into the case by Derry City Council – which owns the airport – say that Alex was in breach of clear rules.
The council ruling reportedly read: "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 on to 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 on to Facebook that is company related."
The Labour Relations Agency is now looking into the case.
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