Goal founder O'Shea to quit role


Goal founder John O’Shea is to retire from his role as chief executive of the charity he founded 35 years ago, it has been announced.

The move follows the settlement of his High Court action aimed at restraining the board of Goal from taking any steps to suspend or remove him from his position.

This afternoon at the High Court, following lengthy discussion between lawyers representing the parties, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy was told by Paul McGarry SC, for Mr O’Shea that the matter had been settled and could be struck out.

Earlier Patrick Hanratty SC, for Goal, said there were talks in the matter and it was hoped the matter would not trouble the court. No details of the settlement were revealed in open court.

The judge welcomed the settlement.

In a statement issued following the conclusion of court proceedings, it was announced that Mr O’Shea will retire from his role at the end of August after a mutually acceptable arrangement was agreed between the parties.

In addition, Goal’s board said it “intends to explore opportunities to collaborate with John for the betterment of the organisation given John’s vast experience and expertise”.

The statement added that Mr O’Shea “would like to thank all of those people involved in Goal, especially the thousands of Goalies, who assisted the organisation over many years in alleviating the suffering of the world’s poor.”

The board said it wanted to pay tribute to Mr O’Shea and his “astonishing work and contribution to Goal and support for the downtrodden of the developing world is deservedly renowned.

"Since 1977 Goal has delivered over one billion dollars in aid and emergency relief programmes to the poorest of poor in over 50 countries, saving tens of thousands of lives and improving countless others.”

Earlier this month, Mr O’Shea initiated High Court proceedings against Goal’s board, claiming steps are being taken to remove him. He obtained a temporary injunction preventing the board from doing so. That order, granted earlier this month, was lifted following agreement between the parties.

Mr O’Shea’s application for a semi-permanent, or interlocutory, injunction which would be in place pending the full hearing of his action was listed for hearing before the High Court today.

Previously, the court heard there appeared to be a “personality clash” between Goal chairman Pat O’Mahony and Mr O’Shea, who had been told not to attend a board meeting of the agency nearly two weeks ago when a vote to suspend him was defeated by six votes to five.

Mr O’Shea then brought his High Court proceedings fearing an effort to suspend might be made at another board meeting scheduled for Tuesday week last. He got a temporary injunction preventing that meeting from dealing with his position claiming there was a concerted effort to remove him.