Former Dairygold chief settles dispute over job termination

Jerry Henchy was suing society over loss of €580,000-a-year position

Jerry Henchy: “delighted with the outcome of the case and that his good name and reputation have also been fully vindicated”

Jerry Henchy: “delighted with the outcome of the case and that his good name and reputation have also been fully vindicated”

 


Former Dairygold chief executive Jerry Henchy has settled his High Court dispute with the society over the termination of his €580,000-a-year position, plus bonuses and allowances, almost five years ago. He has not worked since.

As part of the settlement, statements were read to the court on Tuesday in which Dairygold said any suggestion that the termination of Mr Henchy’s services as chief executive arose from financial impropriety or wrongdoing “was and is without foundation”.

“Dairygold reaffirms that the reason for the termination of his services as CEO was not as a result of any financial impropriety or wrongdoing on his part,” it was stated.

For his part, Mr Henchy “confirms that the board, in coming to the decision to terminate his services as CEO, acted in good faith and without malice towards him”, it was also stated to the court.

The statements were read after Tim O’Leary SC, for Mr Henchy, told Mr Justice Daniel Herbert that the case had settled and could be struck out without any further order. Paul Gardiner SC, for Dairygold, confirmed that was agreed.

Mr Justice Herbert said he would make that order and also discharge all intervening orders.


Reputation vindicated
Mr Henchy was not in court but, in a statement provided by his solicitor, St John Dundon of Dundon Callanan solicitors, said he was “delighted with the outcome of the case and that his good name and reputation have also been fully vindicated”.

The statement also said Mr Henchy “looks forward to the future and wishes to thank his legal team for their work on his behalf”.

The proceedings began last July but were adjourned due to the court vacation before resuming before Mr Justice Daniel Herbert last month. They were entering their 19th day yesterday when the settlement was announced. It followed discussions between the sides last week.

Mr Henchy (48), a father of three from Kilmallock, Co Limerick, had sued Dairygold Co-operative Society Ltd over the termination of his job in January 2009. He sued for some €8 million damages, alleging his employment as chief executive was wrongfully terminated for “spurious” reasons purporting to relate to some €159,000 being owed on his personal farm account with Dairygold.

The “real reason” arose as a result of an orchestrated campaign involving the company’s chairman Vincent Buckley and others, he had claimed.

The damages sought included a claim for alleged defamation arising from the alleged leaking to the media of the January 19th, 2009 minutes of meetings of the Dairygold board and of its audit committee.

Dairygold denied the claims and pleaded there was an issue about Mr Henchy’s farm account prior to January 2009. It also denied any leaking of board minutes.