Friday 16 November 2018

Parental status of Larry Goodman’s adopted children insulted in row, court told

Larry Goodman
Larry Goodman
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The degree of bitterness in a long-running legal battle between high profile shareholders of the Galway Clinic has been laid bare at a hearing at the High Court.

The court has heard how a son of Chicago-based Irish medic Dr Joseph Sheehan insulted the parental status of businessman Larry Goodman’s adopted children amid a shareholder dispute over the Galway Clinic.

Brian O’Moore SC, acting for the Goodman side of the dispute, told Ms Justice Pilkington that Joseph Sheehan Jr was the author of an email that would “turn the stomach”.

The dispute relates to the transfer of shares in Marpole Ltd, the entity behind the Galway Clinic. It’s one of a number of connected cases between shareholders of the Blackrock and Galway private hospitals.

The recipient of the email was Brendan McDonald, who after becoming ill with cancer wished to transfer his shares in Marpole to Mr Goodman’s Parma Investments, the court heard.

A transaction designed to effect the transfer has been disputed by Dr Sheehan Sr, who is also a shareholder in Marpole. He said the deal was in violation of a shareholder’s agreement.

Dr Sheehan Sr is alleging he was an oppressed minority shareholder at the company.

Asked by Mr O’Moore about the email in court, Dr Sheehan Sr said that he did not condone it, and that “we all say things we shouldn’t say”.

Mr O’Moore told the court that the email addressed to Mr McDonald expressed a wish that Mr McDonald would “have an enjoyable remainder to the time you have left”.

Dr Sheehan Sr told the court that his disagreement with Mr Goodman was based on corporate governance concerns.

He said he believed there was a desire on the defendants’ part to keep him in the dark about developments.

He said he had disagreed with other shareholders over spending plans at the company. Mr O’Moore claimed that the proceedings were motivated by “a long-standing dispute with Mr Goodman and a desire to hamper him”.

Dr Sheehan Sr told the court he would be willing to consent to a second share transfer transaction done by Mr McDonald’s BMD Investments and Mr Goodman’s Parma Investments, which was carried out after the original share transfer.

The dispute is due to continue in the High Court tomorrow.

A son of Chicago-based Irish medic Dr Joseph Sheehan insulted the parental status of Larry Goodman’s adopted children amid a shareholder dispute over the Galway clinic, the High Court has been told.

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