Ex-Dairygold chief settles €8m dismissal claim
A SETTLEMENT has been reached in a legal dispute between former Dairygold chief executive Jerry Henchy and the society over the termination of his €580,000-a-year position almost five years ago. He has not worked since.
As part of the settlement, statements were read to the High Court yesterday in which Dairygold said any suggestion that the termination of Mr Henchy's services as CEO arose from financial impropriety or wrongdoing "was and is without foundation".
"Dairygold reaffirms that the reason for the termination of his services as CEO was not as a result of any financial impropriety or wrongdoing on his part," it was stated.
For his part, Mr Henchy confirmed in a statement read out in court "that the board, in coming to the decision to terminate his services as CEO, acted in good faith and without malice towards him".
The statements were read after Mr Henchy's barrister Tim O'Leary told Judge Daniel Herbert the case had been settled and could be struck out.
Judge Herbert said he would make that order and also discharge all intervening orders.
Mr Henchy was not in court but, in a statement provided by his solicitor, said he was "delighted with the outcome of the case and that his good name and reputation have also been fully vindicated".
Mr Henchy (48), a father of three from Kilmallock, Co Limerick, had sued Dairygold Co-operative Society Ltd over the alleged termination of his job in January 2009.
He sued for some €8m damages, alleging his employment was wrongfully terminated for "spurious" reasons purporting to relate to some €159,000 being owed on his personal farm account with Dairygold.
The "real reason" arose as a result of an orchestrated campaign involving the company's chairman Vincent Buckley and others, he had claimed.
Dairygold denied the claims, saying there was an issue about Mr Henchy's farm account prior to January 2009.
It also denied any leaking of board minutes.
In a statement yesterday, Dairygold chairman Bertie O'Leary said the conclusion of the proceedings enabled the society to focus on its continued development and expansion.