IMO to review how organisation was run
Chief executive who received €9 million severance package in dispute over VHI fees and ownership of painting
Former IMO chief executive George McNeice. Photograph: Alan Betson
Members of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) have given approval for the establishment of a retrospective review into how the organisation was run over the last two decades.
Some 150 doctors who attended an extraordinary general meeting today also endorsed proposals for a separate review of governance arrangements to apply in the organsiation in the future.
The retrospective review, to be carried out by an independent body, will examine all matters connected with the employment contract, payments and pension entitlements for former chief executive officer George McNeice in respect of any role held by him within the IMO and any of its associated companies.
The IMO has been in turmoil since it emerged before Christmas that Mr McNeice had left the organisation with an overall package worth around €9.7 million.
Under the terms of his contract Mr McNeice could have received an overall package of close to €25 million on his departure but this figure was reduced following negotiations.
However. IMO members were told today that a new dispute had emerged between the union and Mr McNeice over health insurance payments and the ownership of a painting.
It is understood that since the €9.7 million settlement was agreed between the parties before Christmas, there has been f urther correspondence regarding a number of other issues. Sources said this included a solicitor’s letter sent on behalf of Mr McNeice to the IMO earlier this week. Mr McNeice finished working at the IMO before Christmas but remains an employee of the organisation until the end of this month.
It is understood MrMcNeice wants the IMO to continue his health insurance cover for a further 12 months, which sources said could cost more than €9,500.
Sources said the legal letter maintained that Mr McNeice would be reserving his position if the IMO did not pay for the health insurance cover.
Separately it is understood Mr McNeice has claimed ownership of a painting in the IMO headquarters in Dublin. Highly-placed sources said the IMO was strongly resisting the claims.
It is understood the IMO leadership has said it will pay Mr McNeice’s health insurance until the termination of his employment at the end of March. This would cost less than €300.
Informed sources said the IMO has argued that Mr McNeice should produce evidence to back up his claim of ownership of the painting, which is understood to be valued at several thousand euro.
Mr McNeice could not be contacted last night.