Dispute involving ex-rugby player Shane Byrne is resolved

Affairs of waste management firm at centre of dispute

Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

A High Court dispute between Oxigen Environmental and former rugby star Shane Byrne and his brother William over the operation of a waste disposal company AWD Waste Solutions Ltd has been settled.

The parties, in what was described as a bitter dispute which first came before the High Court last October, informed Mr Justice Michael Quinn on Thursday morning all matters had been resolved and the proceedings could be struck out.

Martin Hayden SC, with Ronnie Hudson Bl for Oxigen said the parties had engaged in discussions which had been “fruitful” and all matters between the sides had been resolved.

As well as striking out the actions, all previous orders made by the court could be vacated, counsel added.

Richard Kean SC, with John O’Donnell SC, for the brothers, who had rejected Oxigen’s allegations of wrongdoing in respect of the company, expressed their clients “gratitude” to the court.

Counsel said the brothers, who had also rejected Oxigen’s claims the company was insolvent, were delighted that “the final whistle had been blown” and the proceedings have concluded in their entirety.

Mr Justice Quinn welcomed the settlement and struck out the proceedings.

The Revenue, which was on notice of the proceedings, said it had no objection to the cases being struck out.

No details of the settlement were disclosed in court.

Discussions

The parties had commenced discussions late last month after the High Court heard the brothers were prepared to offer €1.5 million to Oxigen for its shares in the company.

Under an arrangement entered into eight years ago the brothers, who were directors and have operated the company for many years, owned 49 per cent shareholding in AWD while Oxigen held 51 per cent.

The dispute arose last year when Oxigen secured interim injunctions against the brothers, arising from allegations how the waste disposal company’s affairs were being conducted.

The temporary orders secured by Oxigen restrained the disposal or destruction of the books and records of AWD pending further order of the court.

Oxigen’s concerns about how the affairs of AWD were being conducted included allegations that books and records of the company were removed and destroyed, that monies may be missing, and about payments being made in cash.

It also claimed that cash jobs invoiced for emptying septic tanks, which should have been charged at €250, were allegedly only charged at one cent on the company invoices.

This it was claimed left cash unaccounted for in the company.

In proceedings brought under provisions of the Companies Act, which included a bid to buy out the brothers’ shareholding, Oxigen also alleged the brothers wrongly used company monies for personal expenses.

The brothers strongly denied Oxigen’s allegations against them.

They claimed the proceedings were brought because Oxigen wanted to force them to sell their shares in AWD, and wanted to cause maximum damage to their good names.

In separate, but related proceedings brought earlier this year, Oxigen claimed the company was insolvent and sought to have a provisional liquidator appointed to the company.

The brothers also opposed that application. They said that the company is solvent, thriving and should not be wound up.

The Byrnes also claimed said that application was an attempt by Oxigen to put them out of business.