| 13.4°C Dublin

GAA official settles High Court action over €55,000-a-year contract termination

Close

Diarmuid O’Donovan leaves the Four Courts yesterday. Picture: Collins

Diarmuid O’Donovan leaves the Four Courts yesterday. Picture: Collins

CollinsPhotoAgency

Diarmuid O’Donovan leaves the Four Courts yesterday. Picture: Collins

A senior GAA official has settled a High Court action he brought over the sporting organisation's decision to terminate his employment.

The action was taken by Diarmuid O'Donovan, who worked as the senior administrator of the Cork GAA County Board since 2013.

Earlier this month, he secured a temporary injunction preventing the county board and the GAA from terminating his employment.

He brought proceedings against the Cork GAA County Board and Cumann Lúthchleas Gael to prevent them removing him from the position. He claimed the decision was flawed and his employer was not entitled to terminate the role.

The defendants denied any wrongdoing and had urged the court to discontinue the injunction.

They said a decision had been taken to discontinue, subject to formal ratification by the board's executive, the position of the senior administrator, which was never meant to be a permanent post.

He was being made redundant.

They said they were not going to recruit anyone else to carry out the role.

During the proceedings, counsel for the county board and the GAA, Mark Connaughton SC, said it was accepted that Mr O'Donovan was "undoubtedly a committed supporter" of the GAA, as well as its work.

He had also done a very good job for the Cork County Board as its senior administrator.

The settlement came yesterday after Mr O'Donovan's application for that injunction opened before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds.

The judge, who noted the long history of goodwill between the sides and urged the parties to try to resolve the matter amicably, welcomed the settlement.

No details of the agreement were given in open court.

The €55,000-a-year position of the senior administrator was established to assist the day-to-day work of the board while its county secretary dealt with the completion of Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium.

He claimed he was shocked by the decision to terminate his employment.

Mr O'Donovan, of Mervue Lawn, Ballyvolane, Cork, claimed he had worked 55-60 hours a week in the role.

He believed the redundancy was a blatant attempt to remove him from a role he had successfully and effectively carried out and expanded for several years.

Prior to taking it up, he had been acting CEO with the 'Evening Echo' newspaper and believed he would continue in the role to retirement.

Irish Independent