Analysis Breaking Exclusive

Excl: Sharon Graham, ally Tony Woodhouse served defamation papers by Ogle in Irish High Court

Legal proceedings formally begun in response to union management’s ‘disgraceful’ conduct toward Irish union legend

Brendan Ogle and Sharon Graham

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, her ally Tony Woodhouse and the union itself have been served with a ‘plenary summons‘, the first formal stage in legal proceedings, by the Irish High Court for defamation against by Irish union legend Brendan Ogle.

The union’s ‘disgusting’ abuse toward Ogle on his return from cancer treatment, after he made whistleblower’s ‘protected disclosures’ about the union’s adherence to covid protocols at the height of the pandemic, triggered widespread outrage among grassroots members, politicians and community groups – anger so serious that an entire sector branch threatened to disaffiliate entirely from Unite, the well-known ‘Right2Water’ campaign said it will no longer work with Unite, Unite’s Community section in Ireland condemned the ‘injustice inflicted’ on him and members picketed general secretary Sharon Graham’s long-delayed visit to Dublin last month.

The abuse also caused Ogle to lodge a tribunal complaint with the Workplace Relations Commission – Ireland’s binding statutory body under its Workplace Relations Act.

Now Ogle has begun legal action:

Skwawkbox understands that Graham, Woodhouse and Unite are being sued under the Irish Defamation Act 2009 in relation to comments made about Ogle in Malahide in September 2022 and at the Gresham in Dublin in May this year.

Separately from the legal action, the union has also been accused of starting a smear campaign against Ogle’s wife Mandy La Combre after she criticised Unite’s treatment of her husband.

In addition to the alleged ‘disgusting’ treatment of Ogle by the union, Sharon Graham’s tenure at Unite has been marked by a string of other serious allegations, which neither she nor the union has ever denied – of abuse, cover-up and failure to protect women:

In addition, she has been exposed behind the union’s decision to ban showings in Unite’s buildings of a film exposing racism, smears, rigging and abuse by the Labour right and has appeared to grow increasingly cosy with red-Tory Labour ‘leader’ Keir Starmer, despite Starmer’s lies, his contempt for democracy, his u-turns on promises to Unite members and his regime’s repeated blocking of Unite-backed parliamentary candidates.

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  1. I am so glad that Brendan Ogle who was treated so appallingly by Unite after his return to work following cancer treatment is taking defamation action against Sharon Graham and the others who he believes defamed him in September 22 and again earlier this year.
    It is about time the disgusting way Mr Ogle was treated was brought into the public domain. I have no doubt that his wife was the victim of a smear campaign too.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if once the full details become common knowledge and are reported in the press Unite is kicked out of Ireland and a sizable chunk of its income is lost. Its exactly what they deserve

    1. I suspect that the press coverage on this side of the water will be rather more muted.

    2. Have you read the Legends views on the war, Putin. His beliefs are pure msm for heavens sake. Nato started this shift and they’re going to lose. Bit of gen about Gorby and Yeltsin and gringo freebooters would help. Perhaps meet someone who isn’t green and lgbtmaps. Come back Jimmy connoley.

      1. Brilliant pierce in the September New Left Review Sidecar blog on Ukraine for those who are prepared to think critically about the issue.

  2. There doesn’t appear to be much (if any) press coverage from either side of the Irish Sea

    I did however come across this interesting interview with Brendan.

    Here are some extracts

    Brendan Ogle has said that the political Left is too soft on Russian President Vladimir Putin who has waged war on Ukraine.
    A progressive activist with Unite Trade Union, Mr Ogle is concerned with leftist attitudes towards the “imperialist fascist”, saying he “should be called out much more powerfully on the left than he has been”.
    “I’m very energized with the war in Ukraine and the behaviour of that imperialist fascist in Moscow”, Mr Ogle said. “He should be called out much more powerfully on the left than he has been.”
    “Vladimir Putin is not a communist. Vladimir Putin is not even a leftist. Vladimir Putin is a fascist imperialist.”
    He argued that the Left should always stand against fascist imperialism, “whether it comes from Washington, whether it comes from Iran”.
    Leftist ideology
    “This idea that America bad, everything else good, just doesn’t sit with me”, Mr Ogle said.
    He described leftists choosing Putin as a rejection of American imperialism as “childish”.

    “You’re not picking a football team here.”
    Mr Ogle fiercely condemned the “horrific” war crimes committed by Russia, including “the raping and pillaging of Ukrainian women and children”.

    1. Herr Flick
      Name a single Socialist who thinks Putin good America bad, pathetic
      Now show us his support for the Nazis in Ukraine and the never ending War pigs in America
      Methinks not

      1. I think it would be an interesting exercise to see how many of those people who advocate arming the Ukrainians also advocate arming the Palestinians and the Yemenis or even advocated arming the Chechens.
        I imagine that the figure is zero. It would be interesting to ask them and to see what their response is.

      2. Me, Julie, Dave, Ivor, Ken and Jill, Andy, the bird in the chemist, our former maligned independent Councillor, Stan (he’s CGT) Portuguese comrades, cares from Havana, Bulawayo, The Cape, even a couple of Trots from B.A. tbc, morphine hitting bad for the memory Dympna Mateid and Annette from Cork, cousin Michael from Edinburgh. Debbie and Denise two fisted twins from Penge, half at least of Survivors charity, half tenant’s action comm, a couple from the food bank.

    2. As they say, the first victim of war is the truth, only in the West’s case, truth is the victim BEFORE, and in the case of Ukraine actually leads to war. Jeffrey Sachs summed it all up perfectly in this recent video (27mins):

    3. War crimes by Russia. Childish. Legend of what. Come reaper, enough already. Where has the left gone. Sections, hues, professional groups, hued professional groups. Democrats all around. Mad libraries, pride means exhibitionism, monstrous medics, pervert teachers, thick mayor’s, insane ideas gleefully accepted, remainers in what, rebels against the EU raking in euros. Same shot. Ah well, keep organising, what else is there.

    1. Herr Flick
      GE 24 your man will be crucified by his lies, the Tories, MSM and Toilet papers will simply list them and repeat Ad Nauseum
      As for ‘Make Brexit work’ what part of that will win back the Red Wall, very much like Starvernomics its not a thing, no part of it stands up to any kind of scrutiny
      He has Theresa May / Neil Kinnock written all over him, snatching defeat from the Jaws of Victory

      1. Herr Flick
        So when does the Fuhrer make his move against the Socialist group in the Nazi party
        TBF my bet is not one of them is ready for it

      2. Doug – A rather unexpected response to a trailer for Ken Loach’s new drama, are you feeling OK?😟

      1. I’m gonna wait and see the whole thing. Don’t like ads they tell you to take the jb, stop snorting coal and buy shit.

  3. Doug – It looks like Brendan has touched a sensitive nerve. If you’ve got an issue with what he’s said then take it up with him.

    Anyone wanting to listen to the full interview can do so here
    The first 25 minutes is taken up with discussions about his cancer diagnosis, treatment and the mental impact it had on him. The following 8 minutes includes his relationship with Unite and his opinions on Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  4. Herr Flick
    What you never factor in is we have been here before, Red Tories lost 5 million votes, you stayed in as the least detestable option

    1. Doug – On the contrary, come the election I’ll be more than happy to vote for Labour.
      Have you forgotten that Corbyn’s Labour lost 60 seats in the 19GE?

      1. JLM, MSM, 5 Labour, lost because the workers ere betrayed by a corrupt, perverted cabal.

  5. Good grief the goats must have run away this weekend. He must have a lot of time on his hands and a fast internet connection.

  6. Was talking to a Unite member and they were far from happy, had left Right Wing Labour a while ago because of Right Wing Labour Crap and bullying.
    They said they had felt safe in the Leftish Unite union and could understand why the union didn’t want to import Right Wing Labour crap into the union when it was fighting for pay, jobs & conditions.
    But they had just banned members from hosting talks on Asa Winstanley’s book on Unite premises & using Unite resources to promote this.
    His reading was that Asa’s book is good but a partial analysis, it was a Coalition of Right Wing forces (The British Establishment, The Right Wing Media (and Guardian plus the BBC), Right Wing Labour and when AS after everything else had failed had traction then all the forces went for this and Right Wing Jewish Groups & personalities then piled in; but as the Marxists Laclau & Moufee argued you needed to see the TOTALITY of forces against you.
    By the way it was recently leaked that the then US Secretary of State had said we will never allow Corbyn to be PM.
    My colleague said this was the TRUTH and in their opinion you either support the truth or cave in to A BIG LIE!
    So he wondered was their union at the top including the Leadership just Workerist (?) caring only about pay & conditions (which of course is very important) but had it subcontracted policy vision to Right Wing Labour who are devoid of it?
    I said Sharon G’s ideas on building A Progressive Movement are superb and they agreed but we both felt they hadn’t a clue how to do it when some of us did.
    I said be like me and support grassroots workers on picket lines and in outreach to politicise the diverse working class – not for those at the top but to empower the diverse w class themselves!
    The sad thing when I left them was they said they no longer felt safe from Right Wing Labour in the union.

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