Friday 15 December 2017

Former newspaper CEO entitled to damages after dismissal

Tim Healy

THE former CEO of a provincial newspaper is entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal, a High Court judge ruled.

Former Roscommon Herald boss Brian Nerney had claimed he suffered financial loss and reputational damage after Thomas Crosbie Holdings

(TCH) informed him by letter on July 17 last that he was being made redundant from his €80,000-a-year job.

 

He was told he was not to re enter the newspaper office where he had worked for 28 years after that day.

 

Mr Nerney had been kept on under an executive contract as CEO when TCH bought out his sole shareholding  in Roscommon Herald Ltd for €10.3million in 2004, the court heard.

 

In his action, Mr Nerney (47) of Carrick  Road, Boyle, Co Roscommon, sought orders including that TCH, by terminating his employment acted in the breach of his contract.

 

TCH argued he was made redundant, denied the termination was in breach of the contract or that he suffered reputational damage.

 

Yesterday, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy said he was entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal and these would be assessed later.

 

He should be compensated for being deprived of the remuneration he would have received from TCH under his executive contract for two years from July 17, 2012, including bonus, car allowance and pension contributions, she said.

 

She found however he was not entitled general damages for alleged reputational damage.

 

The case will come before the court again on April 12 next.

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