A group of campaigning GPs have won their battle to force the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) to hold an emergency general meeting following controversy surrounding the near €10m retirement package of its former chief executive.
Dublin GPs Dr Cathal O Suilliobhain and Dr Garret McGovern handed in a petition with 120 signatures, calling for the meeting, to IMO headquarters.
The council of the doctors' union, which has been rocked by the payments, will now be obliged to hold the meeting at the end of March.
Dr O Suilliobhain, who spearheaded the campaign, said it was essential that rank and file members secure more transparency about the running of the union which, he believes, is in danger of being unable to represent medics.
"It is crucial the union is saved," he added.
Revelations that George McNeice (51), the union's chief executive, received a pension package of almost €10m and was on a salary of nearly €500,000 caused uproar among members.
The remuneration involving a defined benefit pension scheme was signed off by a remuneration committee in 2003.
The committee included Health Minister James Reilly, but the chairman who arranged the deal, Dr Cormac MacNamara, has since died.
The EGM will consider a number of motions including a proposal that an interim chief executive, who had no previous connection with the IMO, be appointed immediately.
The current interim chief executive is Niall Saul, the former head of the internal audit committee of FAS, who previously worked on a consultancy basis for the union.
He is currently executive chairman of Symbio Business Solutions, a firm involved in management and human resources consultancy.
The EGM will also consider the setting up of a sub committee of doctors to oversee the external independent investigation looking at the running and financial arrangements of the IMO over the past 12 years.
They also want to see the minutes of various committee meetings to ensure there is more transparency about the decision-making at the union.
A motion for the resignation of the remuneration committee has already been overtaken. It was dissolved last month.
An IMO spokesman said the council will meet next week and will be obliged to hold the meeting before the end of March.
The terms of reference for the external review are currently being finalised and the work will be tendered for.
The IMO will hold its AGM the week after Easter in the Hotel Europe, Killarney. It had planned to find another venue but would have lost its €52,000 deposit by pulling out.