Farm Ireland

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Deise branch hit out at Herlihy

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

A motion of no confidence in Glanbia chairman Liam Herlihy was passed at an East Waterford regional shareholder meeting last week.

The meeting was called in the wake of Glanbia's council gathering where the nominations of Brendan Hayes and Robert Prendergast to the co-op board were rejected by the 86-member body.

The two former board members had been put forward by their regions after being elected locally but were rejected by the council in what was described as an "unprecedented move".

Angry delegates at the East Waterford meeting branded the council's move "spiteful, undemocratic and premeditated".

They claimed the action was motivated by a desire on the part of Glanbia management to punish both Mr Hayes and Mr Prendergast for voicing their opposition to last year's joint venture proposal that led to the establishment of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII).

Mr Hayes and Mr Prendergast were among a group of four Glanbia directors who came out publicly against the joint venture proposal. Wexford board member John Murphy, who was one of the four, was successfully ratified by the council last week.

However, Glanbia rejected suggestions that the council vote had anything to do with the joint venture controversy.

In a statement the co-op said: "The democratic decision of the 86-member council – representing 11 society regional committees, as well as corporate members – reflects the decision of individual members taken in accordance with the rules of the society.

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"Society rules require all board member nominations from respective regional committees to be ratified by the council for appointment to the board."

However, one source at the East Waterford meeting said Mr Hayes and Mr Prendergast had effectively been "taken out".

He said the move set a dangerous precedent and he asked if Glanbia management were looking for "real board members" or simply "yes men".

The East Waterford meeting gave its unanimous backing to Mr Hayes, and also unanimously passed the motion of no confidence in Mr Herlihy.

It is expected that both Mr Hayes and Mr Prendergast will be nominated again as board members for their East Waterford and Barrowvale regions at meetings this week.

Irish Independent