High Court judge urges GPs to resolve differences outside of court

Moycullen-based Dr Eva Flynn fears Dr Sean Mullin trying to push her out of partnership and appropriate business for himself

A High Court judge has urged two Co Galway general practitioners to try to resolve differences that have resulted in the dissolution of their medical partnership outside of court.

Mr Justice Mark Sanfey made the plea after granting Dr Eva Flynn a temporary injunction against Dr Sean Mullin.

The order, which was granted on an ex-parte basis (only Dr Flynn was represented), restrains Dr Mullin from preventing Dr Flynn from accessing or attending at the premises from which they had operated the partnership. The order also restrains the defendant from preventing the plaintiff from providing treatment to her patients at the premises at Moycullen Health Centre.

Represented by Con Crowley, instructed by solicitor Owen Swaine, Dr Flynn said she brought the action over fears Dr Mullin is wrongfully attempting to push her out of the partnership and to appropriate the business for himself.


In her sworn statement to the court, she said the parties established a partnership in Moycullen in 2022. They purchased and renovated the practice property in equal shares “as tenants in common”.

Dr Flynn claims that differences arose between them, including over finances and workloads. She also says she was subject to several verbal attacks in front of their staff and patients by Dr Mullin. She says Dr Mullin last month informed her he would dissolve the partnership unless “she changed her ways”.

She claims he wanted her “to act as his employee” rather than as “an equal partner in the business”.

In a letter on March 15th last, Dr Flynn claims Dr Mullin said that from April 15th he would take sole responsibility for all the patients who have built up a relationship with him in recent years. He also said he was reverting to being a sole trader and had formally invited staff at the premises to take up positions within his practice.

As a result of this letter, Dr Flynn was concerned that such steps would prevent her from carrying out her duties to her patients. Her solicitor wrote to Dr Mullin’s lawyers seeking assurances that the defendant would not appropriate any partnership assets, and denying that the partnership has been properly dissolved.

However, no assurances have been provided by the defendant and Dr Flynn is concerned that she would be excluded from the premises and would not be able to tend to her patients from April 15th.

She fears that the health of her patients would be put at risk and her professional reputation would be damaged in such a scenario. Seeking the injunction, Mr Crowley said all his client was seeking to do is to preserve the status quo.

It is accepted that the sides should mediate the dispute, but counsel said it was not accepted that the partnership had been terminated by the defendant per the law.

The judge said while serious claims had been made by Dr Flynn, he was conscious that he had heard only one side of the story and had not made any findings regarding the dispute. He said he had no doubt that the defendant’s side would have a lot to say on the matter.

Mr Justice Sanfey was prepared to grant an order that would have minimal impact on the situation. It was, he said, a shame that a dispute like this between two presumably “well-respected doctors” should come before the court.

He noted that both sides were prepared to try to resolve the matter, adding that it was a case which was “crying out” for a mediation. He adjourned the case to next Tuesday but said either side could return to court before then should the need arise.