Friday 17 August 2018

Family feud at Kilkenny Group set for High Court

Marian O’Gorman, chief executive of Kilkenny Group. Photo: Tony Gavin
Marian O’Gorman, chief executive of Kilkenny Group. Photo: Tony Gavin
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Efforts to settle the bitter Kilkenny Group family feud have apparently failed with indications a High Court hearing date is now to be sought.

The revelation came as final document discoveries were sought in what many have warned could potentially prove one of Ireland's most destructive family feuds.

A legal row between businessman Greg O'Gorman and his mother Marian O'Gorman, who runs the Kilkenny Group, is now expected to go to full High Court hearing by autumn.

The row erupted in 2016 when Marian O'Gorman, the chief executive of the successful Cork-based family business, terminated the employment of her son Greg.

Mr O'Gorman was the marketing director for 13 years for the Kilkenny Group, a chain which sells luxury goods, and had played a key role in the successful expansion of the retail operation.

Deal

He immediately took legal action to stop his dismissal and to require his mother to honour a deal which he claimed held the Kilkenny Group in trust for him and his siblings.

Mr O'Gorman said the failure of a lengthy mediation process to deliver a satisfactory settlement was very disappointing.

Full discovery of all legal and financial documentation is now being sought by May 14.

Once that is completed, a hearing date will be sought.

"As a result of a failed mediation and failed settlement agreement, my legal team have now lodged our discovery with the commercial court and served the defendant and all notice parties which include Michelle, Melissa, Christopher (siblings) and Michael O'Gorman (father) with same," he said. "The defendant, Marian O'Gorman, and my father, Michael O'Gorman, notified several parties in December and over Christmas that a settlement had been agreed and that the legal war was over.

"I was extremely surprised to have several parties contact me to say they heard it's over when clearly I was fully aware that no agreement had been reached," he said.

Mr O'Gorman said he was confident that the discovery process would support his claim to 25pc ownership of the Kilkenny Group.

"My reputation has been so damaged by being fired for no fault of my own and by the subsequent rumours that I have been unable to secure alternative employment since," Mr O'Gorman added.

Clydaville Investments Ltd, which carries on the business of luxury design under the 'Kilkenny' brand, employs 300 people.

It increased its turnover on Mr O'Gorman's watch from €18m in 2010 to approximately €30m in 2016. Profits rose from €300,000 to €1,500,000 over the same period.

Ms O'Gorman has not publicly commented on the two-year dispute. She is the daughter of Blarney Woollen Mills founder Christy Kelleher.

Irish Independent

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