A Ryanair pilot who spoke out about safety concerns on a television documentary earlier this week has been sacked.

Captain John Goss, who appeared in the Channel 4 Dispatches programme which was broadcast on Monday night, was dismissed today for "gross misconduct".

Capt Goss had also recently been given a warning by Ryanair after he gave a newspaper interview about safety issues at the airline.

In 2005, he took a High Court case against the airline after it tried to invoke disciplinary proceedings against him.

At the time, he claimed he was being victimised for his trade union activities.

The airline denied the claim and the case was settled.

He continued to work for the airline and was due to retire later this year.

In a memo circulated today, Ryanair outlined the reasons for dismissing Capt Goss and urged pilots not to "confuse industrial relations issues with safety".

In a statement, a Ryanair spokesman said: "Ryanair's safety has been independently confirmed as being 'on a par with the safest airlines in Europe'.

"It is delivered on a daily basis by over 9,000 outstanding aviation professionals whose commitment to safety is absolute.

"We will not allow a Ryanair employee to defame our safety on national television just 3 weeks after he confirmed in writing to Ryanair that he had no concerns with safety and no reason to make any confidential safety report to either the IAA or Ryanair."