Ex-Marymount Hospice executive’s legal case resolved

Legal proceedings between the former chief executive officer of Marymount Hospice in Cork and the hospice board were resolved amicably yesterday at the High Court sitting in Cork.

The case which arose out of proceedings at Cork Circuit Court earlier this year was listed for hearing before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan yesterday.

However, the parties sought time to discuss the issues outside the court and returned shortly before lunchtime to tell Mr Justice Noonan that those discussions had borne fruit.

Mark Harty, counsel for the plaintiff, Dan Philpott who was formerly CEO of Marymount University Hospital and Hospice Ltd, thanked the judge for allowing the parties time and said that thankfully it had borne fruit.

“By consent the orders of the Circuit Court hearings are set aside,” Mr Harty said.

“Thereafter, all matters have been resolved. The board of management of Marymount wishes him well in his future career.”

Mr Justice Noonan congratulated barristers and solicitors on both sides on resolving matters in this fashion.

“It is not an easy case to come to grips with. I am glad the parties have been able to resolve their differences,” the judge said.

In June, this case was dealt with at Cork Circuit Court where Mr Philpott had failed in injunctive proceedings against Marymount.

Mr Philpott was appointed as CEO of Marymount University Hospital and Hospice Ltd in May 2014 and dismissed in February of this year and the reason given for the termination of his contract was “significant interpersonal difficulties between the applicant [Mr Philpott] and other members of staff, in particular the executive team”.

Judge James O’Donohoe said in his judgement at Cork Circuit Court in June on Mr Philpott’s application for injunctive relief against Marymount — a judgement that was in effect set aside by mutual agreement of the parties yesterday — that it was based on the applicant’s claim that he had made allegations of wrongdoing against the employer.

Judge O’Donohoe ruled against Mr Philpott on these key allegations.

“This court has only to satisfy itself that the beliefs and disclosures were reasonable and although the court accepts without reservation the sincerity of the plaintiff, objectively on the facts, in the court’s view, he has not satisfied that test,” said Judge O’Donohoe. “Accordingly, the court refuses interim relief.”

In the June case, Mr Philpott alleged that charity funding was being used for needs other than palliative care and was being used to fund administration, portion of salaries, expenses of board members and other staff and that this was an improper use of funds given in good faith.

“The court rejects this assertion out of hand,” Judge O’Donohoe said. “It is patently clear that the Marymount Hospice is a registered charity for a considerable length of time and any further money spent from donors is for the good of the community and is fully compliant.

“Furthermore, there have been no complaints made to any authority.”

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