THE FACTS

The facts of the case as submitted by the applicant may be summarised
as follows:

The applicant is a United States citizen, born in 1931 and resident in
F..

From the applicant's detailed statements and a large number of
documents which he has submitted, it appears that he was given
employment as an electrician with the ... Board in August 1962. While
he was working at a generating station at B., he was elected
shop-steward for the ... Trade Union. During this period he organised
an unofficial strike at the site in order to protest against the
failure of the Union to look after the interest of the workers.

In July 1963 the applicant was transferred to F. Power Station where
he was also elected shop-steward. According to the applicant, relations
between the workers and the management were poor and the applicant had
frequent disputes with the assistant electrical engineer and the
chargehand. The latter allegedly asked the applicant on several
occasions to resign as shop-steward and promised him promotion if he
did this . After a dispute over working conditions, the applicant was
informed that he was redundant and on .. January 1964 he was dismissed.
He complained to the union and three weeks later he was reinstated.
However, shortly afterwards, he fell ill and stayed at home for a few
months.

When he returned to F., the rest of the workers were transferred from
the site and the applicant was left alone on the site for the winter
of 1964-65. The Board removed the canteen and toilets to another site
and the applicant had to stay in a large wooden box which did not even
keep the rain out.

After the applicant had left F. an order for a quantity of copper wire
was placed in his name. This gave rise to an inquiry at which the
applicant was charged with having used the Board's transport for his
private business.

In March 1965 the applicant was transferred to A. where his work mainly
consisted of washing the grease off old cookers and washers and
installing these second-hand parts into new ones. A few days later the
applicant resigned as he feared that he would only be given unpleasant
jobs.

In April 1965 the applicant found new employment in B., which he
describes as a State firm. After a number of disputes the applicant
resigned in January 1967 as he felt that he could no longer continue
his work under these conditions. He submits that he had been unable to
find work since.

The applicant has complained to the Prime Minister, the Minister for
Transport and Power, the Commission on Industrial Relations in the ...
Board, the Union and other authorities or bodies in order to get
redress. All these attempts have, however, been of no avail. He also
consulted solicitors and counsel who refused to bring any action on his
behalf.

In January 1968 the applicant decided not to pay his car tax until the
authorities would attend to his case. On .. April 1968, he was fined
on this account. On .. October 1968, the applicant was arrested for
failure of paying the fine. The next morning, however, he decided to
pay the fine and the tax arrears and was released.

The applicant's nine "charges" against the respondent Government may
be summarised as follows:

1. He was improperly restricted from carrying out his duties as
shop-steward at F. by the management and pressure was brought on him
to permit a serious breach of Trade Union Principle (Article 11 (2) of
the Convention);

2. He was subjected to a form of punishment by being left alone in an
old wet hovel at F.. with the toilets and wash-house removed and the
installations in the main station closed to him (Article 3 of the
Convention);

3. The work given to him at A. amounted to unlawful practice in which
he was obliged to take part or leave the job (Article 9 of the
Convention);

4. When the enquiry was held concerning the purchase of copper wire at
F., the applicant was not there to defend himself against the
accusations that he had used the Board's transport for private business
and his subsequent request to let him prove that the was innocent of
these charges had been turned down (Article 5, paragraph (3) of the
Convention);

5. While working for B. he was subjected to the same "victimisation
campaign" as had been carried out at the ... Board and there were
repeated breaches of his employment contract (Articles 3 and 5 of the
Convention);

6. He was imprisoned on .. October 1968, in M. Prison although the
judge had never imposed any previous sentence to be served if he had
failed to pay the fine concerned (Article 5, paragraph (3) of the
Convention);

7. On .. October 1968 the Government had an article on his imprisonment
printed in its paper the "..." in a manner which would lead the public
to believe that he was a potential law-breaker (Article 5, paragraph
(3) of the Convention);

8. The solicitors consulted by the applicant, who were also State
solicitors for County L.. as well as counsel, refused to act on his
behalf (Article 13 of the Convention);

9. The applicant, his wife and two children are forced to live with his
parents and his wife suffers from depression because of his lack of
permanent employment. He alleges that this amounts to interference with
his home and family life (Article 8 of the Convention).

The applicant requests clearance of his record with the State firms and
compensation for all wages and service lost. He also wants an apology
from the newspaper and compensation.

THE LAW

Whereas the applicant complains of interference with the exercise of
his duties as a shop-steward during his employment at the ... Board;
Whereas this complaint raises a question under Article 11 (Art. 11) of
the Convention according to which everyone has the right "to freedom
of association with others, including the right to form and join trade
unions for the protection of his interests";

Whereas, however, it results from Article 19 (Art. 19) of the
Convention that the sole task of the Commission is to ensure the
observance of the engagements undertaken in the Convention by the High
Contracting Parties, being those members of the Council of Europe which
have signed the Convention and deposited their instruments of
ratification; whereas, moreover, it appears from Article 25 (1)
(Art. 25-1) of the Convention that the Commission can properly admit
an application from an individual only if that individual claims to be
the victim of a violation by one of the High Contracting Parties of the
rights set forth in the Convention provided that the Party in question
has accepted this competence of the Commission;

Whereas the Commission finds that an examination of the file at the
present stage does not give the information required for determining
the question of admissibility of this part of the application
particularly as regards the responsibility of the Iris Government under
the Convention;

Whereas, therefore, the Commission decides, in accordance with Rule 45,
3 (b) of its Rules of Procedure to give notice thereof to the
respondent Government and to invite it to submit its written
observations on the question of admissibility; whereas, in the
meanwhile, the Commission decides to adjourn its examination of this
part of the application;

Whereas, however, the Commission is able to deal at once with the other
aspects of the applicant's complaints;

Whereas, insofar as his complaints can be said to be directed against
the ... Union and its officials, it results clearly from the Articles
mentioned above that the Commission has no competence ratione personae
to admit applications directed against private individuals;

Whereas, in this respect, the Commission refers to its previous
decisions Nos. 172/56 (S. v. Sweden - Yearbook, Vol. I, p. 211) and
752/60 (S. v. Federal Republic of Germany - ibid VI, p. 346);

Whereas it follows that this part of the application is incompatible
within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the
Convention;

Whereas, the applicant has also made complaints in connection with his
employment at B.. and in particular has generally alleged that he was
subjected to the same victimisation campaign as had been carried out
at the ... Board; whereas the same question arises as to whether the
alleged conduct of B. or its officials could entail the responsibility
of the respondent Government under the Convention; whereas the
Commission does not find it necessary to determine this question since,
even assuming that the Government was responsible, an examination of
these complaints, insofar as they are made under Articles 3 and 4
(Art. 3, 4) of the Convention do not disclose any appearance of a
violation of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention;
whereas the applicant has made no complaint under Article 11 (Art. 11)
in this connection and indeed it appears that, during the period
concerned, he was not a shop-steward nor does he himself contend that
there was any dispute between him and his employer arising out of his
membership of the trade union;

Whereas, therefore, this part of the application does not call for an
examination under Article 11 (Art. 11) of the Convention;

Whereas it follows that these particular complaints are manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas, the applicant also complains of the manner in which the ...
Board carried out the inquiry concerning the purchase of copper wire,
in particular, that he was refused permission to prove that he was
innocent of the charges made against him in this connection and whereas
he alleges thereby a violation of Article 5, paragraph (3) (Art. 5-3)
of the Convention; whereas the question again arises whether the
respondent Government could be made responsible under the Convention
for any acts of the ... Board; whereas the Commission will at a later
stage consider this question in connection with the above-mentioned
part of the application on which the respondent Government is being
invited to submit its observations; whereas, however, even assuming
that allegations made by the applicant in this respect could entail the
responsibility of the Government, the Commission finds again that an
examination of this further complaint also does not disclose any
appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set forth in the
Convention; whereas in particular, the Commission observes that the
inquiry did not affect the applicant's "liberty and security of person"
within the meaning of Article 5 (Art. 5) and that, accordingly, the
said Article which is the only one invoked by the applicant in this
connection does not apply here; whereas it follows that this part of
the application is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article
27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas, insofar as the applicant complains of having been unlawfully
imprisoned for failure of paying a fine, the Commission may, under
Article 26 (Art. 26) of the Convention, only deal with a matter after
all domestic remedies have been exhausted according to the generally
recognised rules of international law; and whereas the applicant failed
to institute any proceedings before the competent courts on this
account; whereas, therefore, he has not exhausted the remedies
available to him under Irish law; whereas, moreover, an examination of
the case as it has been submitted, does not disclose the existence of
any special circumstances which might have absolved the applicant,
according to the generally recognised rules of international law, from
exhausting the domestic remedies at his disposal; whereas, therefore,
the condition as to the  exhaustion of domestic remedies laid down in
Articles 26 and 27 (3) (Art. 26, 27-3) of the Convention has not been
complied with by the applicant.

Whereas, to the extent that the applicant's complaints are directed
against the newspaper, it is recalled that the Commission has no
competence ratione materiae to admit applications directed against
private individuals or private enterprises;

Whereas the same ground of inadmissibility applied to the applicant's
complaints directed against the solicitors consulted by him;

Whereas, finally, the applicant complains that he and his family are
forced to live with his parents and that his wife suffers from
depression resulting from his lack of permanent employment and he
alleges that this amounts to an interference with his home and family
life contrary to Article 8 (Art. 8) of the Convention; whereas the
Commission does not find that this complaint discloses any appearance
of a violation of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention
and in particular in the Article invoked by the applicant; whereas it
follows that this part of the application is also manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

Now therefore the Commission

1. Invites the Government of Ireland to submit its observations on the
question of admissibility of the complaint concerning interference with
the applicant's duties as a shop-steward while he was employed at the
... Board;

Decides to adjourn its examination of the admissibility of the
applicant's said complaint;

2. Declares inadmissible, for the reasons stated above, the remainder
of the applicant's complaints.