Cork GAA official settles High Court dispute over termination of contract

Cork GAA official settles High Court dispute over termination of contract
Diarmuid O'Donovan

A High Court action brought by a senior Cork GAA official against the sporting organisation over a decision to terminate his employment has been settled.

The action was taken by Diarmuid O'Donovan, who worked as the Senior Administrator of the Cork GAA County Board since 2013.

Earlier this month he secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing the County Board and the GAA from terminating his €55,000 a year employment.

He brought proceedings against the Cork GAA County Board and Cumann Luthchleas Gael after he was told the position of Senior Administrator was to be discontinued and his employment ended on the grounds of redundancy.

Represented by Marguerite Bolger SC, Mr Donovan claimed the decision to terminate the position was flawed and his employer was not entitled to terminate the role.

The defendants had denied any wrongdoing and had urged the court to discontinue the injunction.

It said a decision had been taken to discontinue, subject to formal ratification by the county board executive the position of the senior administrator which was never meant to be a permanent post and make Mr O'Donovan redundant.

It said that it was not going to recruit anyone else to carry out the role.

During the proceedings counsel for the County Board and the GAA Mark Connaughton SC said it was accepted that Mr Donovan was "undoubtedly a committed supporter of the GAA, as well as its work."

He had also done a very good job for the Cork County Board as its senior administrator.

The settlement came today after Mr O'Donovan's application for the injunction to be kept in place pending the outcome of his action opened before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds.

The Judge, who noted the long history of goodwill between the sides urged the parties to try and resolve the matter amicably, welcomed the settlement.

No details of the agreement were given in open court.

The €55,000 a year position of the senior administrator was established to assist the day to day work of board while its County Secretary dealt with the completion of Pairc Ui Chaoimh stadium.

He claimed he was shocked by the decision to terminate his employment and had feared that the decision would damage his reputation.

Mr O'Donovan of Mervue Lawn, Ballyvolane, Cork in his action claimed he had worked some 55-60 hours a week in the role, and claimed the redundancy was a blatant attempt to remove him from a role he had successfully and effectively carried out and expanded for several years.

Prior to taking it up he had been Acting CEO with the Evening Echo Newspaper .

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