Monday 18 November 2019

Senior GAA official's court action over termination of employment is settled

Diarmuid O Donovan pictured at the Four Courts for a High Court action.Pic: Collins Courts
22/1/2019 Diarmuid O Donovan pictured at the Four Courts for a High Court action.Pic: Collins Courts

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

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

The €55,000 a year position of the senior administrator was established to assist the day to day work of board, while its County Secretary dealt with the completion of Pairc Ui Chaoimh stadium.

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

Earlier this month he secured a temporary injunction preventing the County Board and the GAA  from terminating his employment.

He brought proceedings against after the Cork GAA County Board and Cumann Luthchleas Gael to prevent them removing him 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. 

It 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.

It said that it was 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 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 on Wednesday 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 and resolve the matter amicably, welcomed the settlement.

No details of the agreement were given in open court.

Mr O'Donovan of Mervue Lawn, Ballyvolane, Cork, claimed he had worked some 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.

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