Monday 22 May 2017

FG councillor in court battle with brother over firm

Ray Managh and Aodhan O Faolain

THE High Court has heard allegations that a company, part owned by brothers Edward and Oliver Garry, a Fine Gael member of Clare County Council, had lost money through unauthorised withdrawals by directors to the tune of €400,000.

Dublin-based businessman Edward Garry failed in a bid to obtain an injunction directing his brother Oliver, and Oliver's two sons, Colin and John, to pay back €33,000 he claimed had recently been misappropriated from the finances of Abbey Contractors Limited.

He also failed in an attempt to get a court order directing the release to him of work diaries, timesheets, chequebook stubs and accounts relating to the running of the company, which has its registered office at Fort Hill, Kildysart, Co Clare, the address of Oliver Garry.

A barrister for Edward Garry said it was his client's case that Oliver Garry's sons had effectively become directors of the company in 2004 and, with their father, had conducted a concerted operation of using resources of the company for their own benefit.

Edward Garry told the court he and his brother were 50 per cent shareholders in the company.

He had recently discovered that €33,000 had been withdrawn from the company's bank account, bringing the amount that had been withdrawn by the Kildysart directors "for their own use over six or seven years" to around €400,000.

He claimed that a large house had been built by the company for one of the directors that had never been paid for.

When his solicitor had questioned the €33,000 withdrawal he was told that it was for a redundancy payment. Edward Garry believed this to be a fictional redundancy payment.

Edward Garry told the court he was seeking an order directing return of the €33,000 to the company bank account, or payment of it into court until the determination of a derivative action by him against the company, his brother and nephews.

A derivative action is a proceedings brought by a member or minority of company members in his or their own names seeking a remedy for the company in respect of a wrong done to it. This action was due for mention before another judge next Monday.

The court heard that if the other directors continued to extract money from Abbey Contractors Ltd, the company would not have funds to pursue his and its action against them. He wished to be put "in the shoes" of the company to pursue his claim.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy refused both applications but granted Mr Garry leave to issue a motion to be dealt with by the court next Monday.

Irish Independent

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