Saturday 15 December 2018

Foley seeks Natrium to cover legal bill over Clerys

Businesswoman Deirdre Foley.
Businesswoman Deirdre Foley.

Gordon Deegan

Businesswoman Deirdre Foley is seeking that the buyers of Clerys store cover all of her firm's legal and other costs in its legal action against a State agency.

This is disclosed in new accounts for Ms Foley's D2 Private Ltd which confirm that the company recorded a loss of €324,591 last year.

This followed the company recording a loss of €774,155 in 2015.

At the end of December last, D2 Private Ltd's accumulated profits had reduced to €449,556. Its cash pile had decreased from €2m to €778,638 last year.

Ms Foley's D2 Private Ltd currently has an application before the Court of Appeal in a bid to overturn a High Court ruling last year dismissing the company's challenge against a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) investigation into the circumstances around the redundancy of 130 workers at Clery's in June 2015.

Ms Foley has a 20pc share in the purchaser of Clerys store, Natrium, and has been the public face of the firm.

As a result of that investigation, Ms Foley is facing a charge of impeding a WRC inspector and three counts of breaking protection of employment laws.

The hearing in the case is due to be heard next year at Dublin District Court.

The Clery workers were made redundant by the operator of the business, OCS Operations Ltd.

In the D2 accounts, a note sets out Ms Foley's and D2 Private's stall in relation to the roles of the firm and Ms Foley in the redundancy of the Clerys workers. The note states: "Neither D2 Private Ltd nor any employee of D2 Private, including Deirdre Foley, was ever the employer of those employees at OCS Operations Ltd who were made redundant in June 2015."

The note adds that "nor was D2 Private, Deirdre Foley or any other employee of D2 Private ever a director of OCS Operations Ltd and nor did they ever purport to act in the capacity of a director".

The note states that the appeal of the High Court decision by D2 Private is supported by Natrium.

The note adds that 'an indemnity has been sought from Natrium Ltd in respect of all legal and other costs".

Earlier this year, An Bord Pleanála gave go-ahead for a €150m redevelopment of Clerys after trade union Siptu withdrew its opposition against the plan following Ms Foley reaching a deal with former Clerys workers.

It was reported at the time that the workers were to share a compensation package of more than €1m.

The new development will create 3,990 jobs.

Irish Independent

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