Airport worker sacked for photo with Nadine Coyle
AIRPORT security worker Alex Duffy, 31, was starstruck when Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle walked through his work. He asked her to take a photo with him and she agreed.
That photo has now cost Mr Duffy his job. And he wants Coyle's help to get it back.
Mr Duffy, 31, worked at City of Derry Airport and he took the photo in the airport's security area.
After he posted the photo onto Facebook a number of offensive comments about the star were posted on his page.
Mr Duffy claims a number of people close to the star contacted the airport management to complain about the comments and the picture.
Soon after he was dismissed for "gross misconduct and bringing the company into disrepute", reports the Metro.
Mr Duffy says he is on the brink of homelessness after losing his job. He lost an appeal against the sacking this week. Now he's asking Coyle to step in and save him.
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."
But there may be more to the sacking than Mr Duffy claims.
According to the Irish Herald Mr Duffy was already on a written warning after an incident in November where he swore at another member of staff and posted that employees photo on Facebook "for a bit of a laugh".
At the appeal, Derry City Council – which owns the airport – found Mr Duffy was in breach of clear rules, the paper reported.
"The photograph ... clearly showed you wearing your City of Derry Airport uniform and clearly showed that you were in the Security Search area," reads the council ruling.
"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." Picture: Hemedia