Tuesday 18 December 2018

Tipperary woman fears company director husband is 'under influence of yoga group', court hears


Aodhan O'Faolain

A woman has brought a High Court case against her husband over the running of the family firm after she says he fell under the influence of members of a yoga group.

Hilda Mackey fears members of the Japa Meditation group may have accompanied her husband Michael Mackey when he withdrew €300,000 in company funds from the bank.

She has launched High Court proceedings against her husband over the manner in which he has allegedly been conducting the affairs of their civil engineering business.

The action concerns the operation of Mackey Plant Construction Ltd, an engineering and steel fabrication and installation works business based at Stereame Business Park in Nenagh Co Tipperary.

The couple, both of Benedine, Nenagh, are the founding directors and joint shareholders of the firm, which employs more than 25 people.

She says she has been left "baffled" by her husband's behaviour over the last 18 months.

In a sworn statement, she says that without her consent her husband improperly removed €300,000 from the company and a company pension fund to the detriment of the employees, owners and creditors of the company.

Her husband has been receiving advice and coaching from Japa Meditation which she says he joined in 2016.

She claims that certain members of the group appear to be advising him and seem to have considerable influence over him.

He has also given them confidential company information, she says.

Since November 2016, her husband has insisted that the firm employ a member of the Japa group and it is understood that such a person has been nominated by his "Yoga Master".

Her husband she says seems to be totally unaware of the huge upset among the company's staff.

She says he has undermined the action of project managers by giving contradicting instructions to junior of staff on the basis that it is his company.

She says that as a result of her husband's action she fears for the company's future.

She says attempts to resolve their differences have not succeeded and the relationship between them has broken.

Ms Mackey claims the affairs of the company and the powers being exercised by her fellow director in a manner that is oppressive to her leaving her no choice other than to bring proceedings against her husband and their company.

Ms Mackey, represented by Brian Walker Bl, instructed by Patrick F. Treacy & Co Solicitors,  seeks various orders from the court including one allowing her to conduct a general meeting of the company  later this month and appoint of their son, Karl Mackey, as an additional director of the company.

This order is being done to safeguard the assets of the company, it is claimed.

She further seeks a declaration under the 2014 Companies Act that the affairs in the company are being conducted in a manner oppressive to her interests.

As the alternative to a winding up order, she also seeks an order for the purchase of Mr Mackey's shares in business.

Following an application by Mr Walker on Thursday, Mr Justice Tony O'Connor granted Mrs Mackey permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on Mr Mackey.

Counsel told the court Mr Mackey is currently out of the country, and is believed to be in Portugal.

The case will return before the High Court next week.

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