SFPC propose settlement including withdrawl of false allegations

Negotiations to settle a High Court case involving two directors of Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) have fallen through.

The company had offered to pay the legal costs of suspended chief executive Brian Byrne and non-executive director Morgan Leahy – which have now topped €700,000 – as well as a substantial settlement for the two men to withdraw their action against the company. A committee of inquiry was set up last October to investigate allegations against the two men.

The allegation, made by Brian Cosgrave of Cosgrave Transport, concerned the establishment of a haulage company which would have been given exclusive port company contracts. Byrne and Leahy deny the allegation.

The two men successfully prevented the inquiry in the High Court and they have been in court again in the last fortnight to secure discovery of documents and other materials relating to their case.

Further argument relating to the inadequacy of SFPC’s discovery will be heard by Mr Justice Clarke tomorrow. Representatives of Holmes O’Malley Sexton solicitors – acting on behalf of SFPC – drafted a proposed settlement which included a withdrawal of Cosgrave’s allegations in return for Byrne and Leahy agreeing not to sue Cosgrave or his company. But Byrne and Leahy eventually decided to continue with their action, which could see former directors called to give evidence.

Meanwhile, transport minister Martin Cullen has failed to appoint a new board to SFPC or Dublin Port Company.

Extract from Sunday Business Post Port firm fails to resolve High Court case against two directors By Nicola Cooke
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