Varadkar says it’s ‘wrong’ to be sacked for views after Israeli company sacked

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he would advise an Irish woman fired by an Israeli company to seek legal advice if her dismissal was due to her political views.

Speaking in the Dail, Solidarity TD Mick Barry referred to the dismissal of Courtney Carey from her role as head of the customer services team at Israeli technology company Wix, which employs 500 people in Dublin.

Mr Barry said: “He commented online on what he rightly described as the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza. She got fired from her job for it. I call on the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to speak on this matter.

“It could have a chilling effect on thousands of workers in this country who want to speak out against a brutal war. It also sets a terrible precedent where employees can be fired for expressing a political opinion.”

Ms Carey posted on LinkedIn “Free Palestine” and “Israel is a terrorist state” before her firing.

He wrote separately that human rights organizations had concluded that “Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid” and that it had cut off food, water and electricity to more than two million people in the Gaza Strip.

He later said he condemned all forms of terrorism regardless of the perpetrator or the victim.

The chairman of the Israeli software company said he had decided to “part ways” with Ms Carey.

Nir Zohar said: “Wix is ​​a global company, it's an open and liberal company. We would never try to limit anyone's political views, however we also maintain a strong set of internal values ​​about our team spirit, cooperation and friendship.

“These accusations at such troubling times not only damage the spirit of our Israeli team, but also threaten the great relationship between our Dublin offices and our 500 team members and their Israeli colleagues.”

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett told the Dail the case was “particularly concerning”.

He said: “She was fired for posting what she says are fairly mild posts on the internet where she basically put the blame for the current violence in Gaza on the shoulders of the Israeli government for its policies of apartheid, the occupation and siege of Gaza.” .

In response, Mr Varadkar said he did not know the details or facts of the case and therefore could not judge.

However, he added: “Under Irish employment law, it is not OK to fire someone because of their political views.

“I believe this is wrong and would encourage the woman concerned to seek advice, either from the WRC, a union or a lawyer, because it may constitute wrongful dismissal and there are remedies that will apply afterwards.

“Of course, all the facts will have to be known before we know what the outcome will be.”

Elsewhere, Deputy Prime Minister Micheal Martin told reporters he had not seen the posts, but said it would be “unacceptable” for someone to be fired for sharing a view if it was not calling for violence.

Speaking at Ireland's World Summit in Dublin, Mr Martin said: “Workers in general should have their individual views. We live in a democracy here, we tolerate debate, freedom of speech and freedom of opinion.”

“People are entitled to different viewpoints when they don't support violence in pursuit of those goals.”

He added: “We defend people's right to freedom of expression.”