Woman takes courts action against husband over engineering firm’s affairs

Wife tells court she is baffled by his behaviour and is concerned over yoga group’s influence on him

The case will return before the High Court next week.

The case will return before the High Court next week.

 

A woman has taken High Court proceedings against her husband over his conduct of the affairs of their civil engineering business.

Hilda Mackey claims she is “baffled” by her husband Michael’s behaviour over the last 18 months and says she is concerned certain members of a yoga group, Japa Meditation, appear to have considerable influence over him.

As a result of her husband’s actions, including alleged removal of €300,000 from the company, she fears for its future, Mrs Mackey says. She says attempts to resolve their differences have not succeeded and the relationship between them has broken down.

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

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

In a sworn statement, Mrs Mackey said her husband, without her consent, had 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 a yoga group calling itself Japa Meditation which he joined in 2016, she said. She feared members of the group may have accompanied him when he withdrew the company’s funds from the bank.

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

He has given them confidential company information, she said.

Since November 2016, her husband insisted the firm employ a member of the Japa Group and it is understood such a person has been nominated by his “Yoga Master”, she said. Her husband appeared totally unaware of the huge upset among the company’s staff, she added.

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

Mrs Mackey claims the affairs of the company and the powers of her fellow director are being carried out in a manner oppressive to her, leaving her no choice except to bring proceedings against her husband and their company.

Mrs Mackey, represented by Brian Walker BL, instructed by Patrick F Treacy & Co Solicitors, wants various orders including permitting her to conduct a general meeting of the company later this month and appoint their son Karl Mackey as an additional director. This is necessary to safeguard the assets of the company, it is claimed.

She also wants a declaration under the 2014 Companies Act the affairs in the company are being conducted in a manner oppressive to her interests. She also wants an order for the purchase of Mr Mackey’s shares in business.

Mr Justice Tony O’Connor granted Mr Walker’s ex parte application (one side only represented) for permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on Mr Mackey. Counsel said 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.