Former Coillte chief executive takes case over bonus

Move to recover payment worth €299,000

The former chief executive of forestry company Coillte has launched a legal action to recover performance-related bonus payments totalling €299,000 which he says he is entitled to.

David Gunning turned the company around despite the crisis and he is entitled to his performance-related pay, his counsel John Rogers told the High Court.

Mr Gunning (54) of Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin, who was chief executive from 2006 to 2013 on a starting salary of over €200,000 rising to more than €300,000 later, has sued Coillte Teoranta seeking payment.

Market expansion

Mr Rogers told High Court president, Mr Justice

Nicholas Kearns

, that Mr Gunning, along with the Coillte chairman, had opened up markets in the UK and the company made profits despite the downturn in the economy.

Under the performance scheme, he was entitled to a bonus in two parts based on his own performance and that of the company, and also relating to the three-year performance of both the chief executive and company.

He waived his entitlement to 2009 and 2010 bonuses. Mr Gunning says he was entitled to over €70,000 in 2011 and over €68,000 in 2012.

Coillte claims Mr Gunning is not entitled because of a directive from the Minister for Agriculture.

The case continues.