Friday 18 April 2014

Poacher turned gamekeeper

Remember McInerney Holdings? The failed building firm that was racking up big losses in 2010, lost the support of its bankers and whose debts were headed for NAMA made for plenty of colourful column inches.

Rebel shareholder David Nabarro mustered fellow investors to block a winding-up plan tabled by the board, which subsequently led to McInerney directors – including chairman Ned Sullivan – resigning.

But former McInerney managing director Barry O'Connor – who had resigned his role early in 2010 – clung on as a board member.

Mr O'Connor had announced before the important shareholder meeting last year his intention to sue the company for unfair dismissal – an action directed towards the former board.

Mr O'Connor had originally intended to help Mr Nabarro and other new directors, who now run the McInerney board.

They wanted to use the McInerney Holdings vehicle – a listed company – for other investment purposes.

But in any event, Mr O'Connor's dismissal case began at the Employment Appeals Tribunal in September. It was postponed until next week to allow the new directors time to prepare a defence.

It's thought the McInerney directors are aghast at Mr O'Connor's plans to continue the action and there are rumblings he may seek as much as €1m in damages.

The board, including Mr Nabarro, intend to vigorously defend the claim, the Punt is told. Mr O'Connor obviously believes he has a solid case to pursue.

Irish Independent

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