Thursday 22 August 2019

Marian O'Gorman and son set for court as mediation fails


Greg O’Gorman and his mother Marian, chief executive of the Kilkenny Group
Greg O’Gorman and his mother Marian, chief executive of the Kilkenny Group
Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch

Hopes for a successful mediation of the bitter dispute between a son and his mother, concerning ownership of the well-known Kilkenny group of luxury design stores, have receded following the breakdown of talks.

Greg O'Gorman is suing his mother Marian, chief executive of the family business, in the High Court, alleging that she reneged on a deal which means that the Kilkenny Group is held in trust for him and his siblings, who are notice parties to the proceedings.

Representatives of the Kilkenny Group and Greg O'Gorman are due back in court this week.

However, the Sunday Independent has learned that efforts to mediate in the dispute between the parties have failed in the past week.

Mr O'Gorman claims that after 13 years of service and with "no suggestion of misconduct or non-performance" on his part, his mother summarily terminated his employment as group marketing director in July 2016 in a "demeaning and humiliating" manner.

This has left him, his wife and three children "financially destitute" and he has been unable to get alternative employment, the High Court has heard.

Mr O'Gorman is currently in receipt of social welfare benefit and has lodged a separate claim for unfair dismissal with the Workplace Relations Commission, which is also set to proceed following the breakdown of mediation.

He alleges that his mother repudiated a signed 'family constitution' document, under which she held legal ownership of shares in the company in trust for the O'Gorman family business partnership, comprising Mr O'Gorman and his three siblings. All four siblings hold a 25pc share, with Mr O'Gorman's shareholding estimated to be worth €12.5m, it is claimed.

In January, High Court Judge Mr Justice Brian McGovern implored mother and son to seek mediation.

However the failure of mediation means that the dispute will now be heard in open court.

Neither party commented when contacted by the Sunday Independent.

Sunday Indo Business

Also in Business