Sister of Waterford Castle owner dismissed after requesting more than minimum wage

Sister of Waterford Castle owner dismissed after requesting more than minimum wage

The sister of a prominent businessman was dismissed from her role at Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Resort following a request to be paid above minimum wage.

The Irish Times reports that Bernadette Walsh, the sister of Kilkenny-born and Melbourne-based businessman Séamus Walsh, had been persuaded to leave a €100,000 a year job held in the Bahamas to work at her brother's luxury hotel and golf course for the annual sum of €16,000 with meals and lodgings provided.

While working at Waterford Castle, Ms Walsh took on the role of director and hotel manager.

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) heard that Ms Walsh alleged that she was unfairly dismissed in September 2019, was not paid overtime, and was not provided with a valid contract.


Speaking to the WRC, Ms Walsh confirmed that she had agreed to start on €16,000 per annum, but was of the understanding that this was a "starting base".

When Ms Walsh wrote to her brother in January 2019 concerning her wage their relationship was said to have "turned sour."

It was following an in-person meeting in August 2019 when Ms Walsh was dismissed from her role.

In January 2020 the WRC issued a notification of contravention of employment law to Mr Walsh's firm.


Speaking on behalf of Waterford Castle, Caroline Doyle noted that Ms Walsh's dismissal was "procedurally unfair", while the company's chief financial officer Louise Hurley stated that the sister's dismissal coincided with a wider family fallout.

It was also noted that Ms Walsh had no definitive record of overtime worked as she did not use the hotel's clock-in system.

A decision on the hearing will be offered in early March 2022.