Kilkenny group says dispute between chief executive and her son is over

Greg O’Gorman had instigated court proceedings against his mother Marian O’Gorman

The bitter falling out between Marian O’Gorman, chief executive and owner of the Kilkenny retail group, and her son Greg O’Gorman, the group’s former marketing director, appears to be have been resolved.

The dispute arose after Ms O’Gorman sacked her son in 2016 in the midst of a dispute over the ownership of the luxury retail group, which employs 300 staff and has sales of about €30 million.

Mr O’Gorman instigated court proceedings against his mother, alleging she had breached an agreement that would have given him ownership of 25 per cent of the Kilkenny group.

On Friday, the Kilkenny group issued a statement saying the dispute between its chief executive and her son is over.


"Kilkenny Group is happy to confirm that the dispute between Gregory O'Gorman and Marian O'Gorman has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties," it said.

The negotiated settlement appears to have been reached after several failed attempts at mediation since a High Court case was filed by Mr O'Gorman in February 2017. The case had been listed for its next appearance in court in October.

A spokesman for Kilkenny declined to give any detail on the terms of the settlement.


Earlier in the court proceedings, Mr O’Gorman alleged his mother sacked him in a “humiliating manner” at a family meeting in 2016, and he further alleged that she had publicly repudiated a prior agreement that she would hold ownership of the business in trust for him and his three siblings.

Mr O’Gorman said the business had been valued at €50 million, which would have he said put a value on his stake of about €12.5 million. He claimed his sacking by his mother had left him “destitute”.

Kilkenny comprises about 15 stores around Ireland, as well as two restaurants in Cork. Ms O’Gorman’s father founded Blarney Woollen Mills group, which was a forerunner of Kilkenny before a 1999 de-merger.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times