Former McInerney boss seeks €1m for ‘unfair dismissal’

Barry O’Connor says he was ‘pressured’ out of his role

Barry O’Connor: says McInerney Holdings pressured him out of his job in April 2010, following a campaign against him he says began a year earlier. Photograph: David Sleator

Barry O’Connor: says McInerney Holdings pressured him out of his job in April 2010, following a campaign against him he says began a year earlier. Photograph: David Sleator

Thu, Dec 19, 2013, 01:00


McInerney Holdings plc’s executives were divided over the company’s future ahead of the departure of managing director Barry O’Connor in early 2010, the Employment Appeals Tribunal heard yesterday.

Mr O’Connor is claiming €1 million for constructive unfair dismissal against the building group, which he argues pressured him out of his job in April 2010, following a campaign against him that he says began a year earlier.

The group lost €25 million in 2009. In early 2010, it established a subcommittee to come up with a rescue plan and as a result hired Goldman Sachs to advise on a restructuring.

Mr O’Connor was not on the subcommittee and favoured refinancing its debt over restructuring, which would have diluted existing shareholders.

Former chairman Ned Sullivan told the tribunal yesterday it was “increasingly clear” that there were differences between Mr O’Connor and other executives.

The company claims Mr O’Connor is seeking special treatment, and says 1,000 staff lost their jobs and shareholders lost €600 million when the company collapsed in 2011.

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