GillenMarkets MD claims he was wrongly summarily dismissed

Rory Mason claims his employer has wrongly accused him of stealing from firm

At the High Court on Wednesday Mr Justice Senan Allen granted GillenMarkets chief executive Mr Mason a temporary injunction. Photograph: iStock

At the High Court on Wednesday Mr Justice Senan Allen granted GillenMarkets chief executive Mr Mason a temporary injunction. Photograph: iStock

 

The managing director of a wealth management and investment advice firm has claimed before the High Court he was wrongly dismissed summarily from his €125,000 per year job last week.

Rory Mason, managing director of GillenMarkets and beneficial owner of 15 per cent of the firm’s shares, claims his employer has wrongly accused him of gross misconduct, namely that he stole €14,000 from the business.

He strongly denies any wrongdoing and claims the “accusation of theft” is “utterly without foundation” and a “contrived attempt” to remove him from his position as chief executive “by whatever means necessary”.

He also says he was “left shocked” and “utterly taken aback” by the accusations made at the meeting between him and company chairman Dermot Browne.

Oisin Quinn SC for Mr Mason told the High Court the money was paid to his client by way of an annual bonus, which he said was fully disclosed to and approved by the company’s board.

It is his client’s case that he is the subject of baseless and false allegations and that Mr Mason was dealt with by the chairman without any process of investigation at all.

Counsel said the defendant’s actions amount to breach of his client’s legal entitlements as well as his constitutional rights, and rights to natural justice.

As a result, Mr Mason has sued his employer, ILTB trading as GillenMarkets, and Mr Browne, the company’s chairman.

At the High Court on Wednesday Mr Justice Senan Allen granted Mr Mason a temporary injunction, on an ex-parte basis, preventing the defendants from implementing his purported dismissal.

The court also restrained the defendants from publicising, repeating or communicating in any form the misconduct alleged against Mr Mason.

Seeking the injunctions Mr Quinn, appearing with Ray Ryan and instructed by solicitor Simon McAleese, said there had been difficulties within the company’s board for some time.

Asked to leave

Counsel said that prior to the allegation of theft being made against Mr Mason, his client has been asked by the company to leave his role as managing director and take up another position within the firm, which he declined to do.

Following the meeting with the chairman, whom the court heard has no day-today role in the operation of the company, Mr Mason was also told that the matter could be reported to both the Garda and the Central Bank of Ireland, which regulates the company.

Counsel said that, at that meeting, Mr Browne also told Mr Mason to write a letter of resignation and return all company property to the firm.

Mr Mason, a father of five who is aged in his mid-50s, said in a sworn statement to the court that during that meeting “It was clear that I was being fired,” and that he was being given a short window to resign, which he declined to do.

Counsel said that any dismissal would have a huge impact on Mr Mason’s professional reputation within the financial services sector, where he has worked for the last 25 years.

He has been with GillenMarkets for some years, and the company has been successful and grown, counsel said.

The matter was adjourned and will return before the court next week.