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Thursday 20 September 2018

Irish Country Women's Association election vote dispute goes to mediation

Tim Healy

A High Court dispute arising out of an alleged failure to count votes in elections for positions on the national executive of the Irish Country Women's Association (ICA) has gone to mediation. 

The case has been adjourned to allow that process to take place. 

The action was initiated by Patricia Madden, who joined the ICA 39 years ago and says the organisation is in breach of its constitution when it failed to count ballots cast by its membership in advance of its AGM last May. 

She also claimed the ICA should have declared the winners of the election at the AGM for positions on its national executive board including National President, National Secretary and National Treasure for a term of office that runs from 2018 to 2021. 

Up to 30 other members have been given permission by the court to be joined as co-plaintiffs to the action. 

Ms Madden's application for various injunctions is opposed by the ICA.

The ICA accepts there are issues in relation to the election which need to be addressed. It has proposed holding fresh elections for the positions.

When the matter returned before Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh at the High Court on Tuesday the judge suggested that the dispute goes to mediation. 

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Following talks between the parties, Ms Madden told the court that the dispute should go to mediation. The parties want the process to commence as soon as possible and were seeking to have a mediator appointed.  

The Judge welcomed the fact that the parties have agreed to mediate the dispute, which she hoped is successful. 

The matter was adjourned to early July.

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