Contentious North Cork Co-op meeting ends 'amicably'
SOME dissident board members of North Cork Co-Op had the wind taken out of their sails at the special general meeting last Thursday night, when told by management that - according to the rules - if the board were to be dissolved it would mean none of the members could be reelected for two years.
What was referred to beforehand by one shareholder as having the hallmarks of "one rough meeting", afterwards another described it as a bit of a damp squib.
However, Sean Myers of ICOS (Irish Co- Operative Organisation Society), will chair the board meetings until April, when the society will hold its AGM. The chairman of North Cork Co- Op John Ahern will still attend the meetings.
The purpose of the meeting last Thursday night was to vote on a motion of no confidence in the board of directors and calling on them to resign.
However, once management announced the two year ban from sitting on the board, if the motion was passed, the motion was set aside.
The recently retired chief executive of North Cork Co- Op, Mr Sean McAuliffe, who is also coop secretary, was succeeded by Patrick Sheahan, a dairy scientist who has worked with the Kerry Group for over two decades.
The controversial appointment of Mr Sheahan cameafter a recruitment process undertaken by BDO Chartered Accountants, in conjunction with the board of directors, where external and internal applications were considered.
The appointment was then ratified by a majority of the board. However, some board members wanted this process further examined and re-opened and the special general meeting was called.
A statement this week from North Cork Co- Op outlined that the resolution was ' voluntarily withdrawn by the proposers without any vote on the matter'.
It continued that there had been a disagreement between board members relating to board proceedings. "All board matters are considered to be confidential," read the statement.
It also stated that, in order to allow for a situation where the matter would be amicably resolved, the chairman of North Cork Co- Op, John Ahern, had personally volunteered not to chair the next three board meetings to 'allow for the resumption of harmonious and cordial proceedings between all board members, and this was agreed by the board'.
By agreement with the board, the chairman has invited a representative of ICOS, Sean Myers, to chair the next three meetings until the AGM will help. ' This has been mutually agreed by everyone concerned,' read the statement.
After the meeting one shareholder commented: "What we were expecting to happen was that the appointment process would be re-opened but this just never happened. The meeting was over as soon as it began".