Former Limerick FC owner taking FAI to the High Court


Having failed at the start of this year to have his case heard in the courts of his native New Jersey, former Limerick FC owner and chairman Jack McCarthy has initiated legal proceedings against the FAI, John Delaney and others in the High Court.

McCarthy, who claims he lost just short of €300,000 over the course of his involvement with the Airtricity League outfit, contends that during his ownership of the club he did not receive the support he had been promised by the association and some of its senior staff prior to investing in it.

Unhappy at the way in which the transfer of ownership was ultimately handled when he departed three years ago, he has also initiated proceedings against the club’s owner, Pat O’Sullivan, and the company through which he owns the club, Munster Football Club Limited, as well as Limerick District Management Council, which owns the ground out of which the club has played in recent seasons, Jackman Park, and was involved in the club prior to McCarthy taking control.

In the United States McCarthy had sought “triple damages” amounting to around €960,000, something he was entitled to do under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), normally used to deal with gangster and Mafia related crime.

The FAI, however, argued if there was a case to be argued over – which they denied – it should be heard in Ireland and when a judge agreed it left McCarthy with no option but to take his fight here if he wished to continue pursuing it.

Last night, he said he was determined to do just that.

“I think there was a wrong,” he said, “and I hope to have it redressed.”

As of yesterday, the association appeared not to be aware of the new action and last night declined to comment when told about it but at the time of the American case it issued a statement in which it said that: “The Football Association of Ireland and its employees strenuously deny ALL (their emphasis) allegations made by Mr McCarthy as baseless, unsubstantiated and defamatory. The FAI intends to contest this action with the utmost vigour possible.”

In copies of email exchanges from June 2009 previously filed with the American courts McCarthy had suggested to Delaney some form of mediation be sought in order to enable the two sides to overcome their differences.

In his reply, however, the association’s chief executive rejected all of the allegations and threatened the American, who is a lawyer, with a libel action.

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