COURT

Estate manager of Kilkenny's Mount Juliet takes action against employer

Aodhan O'Faolain

Reporter:

Aodhan O'Faolain

Email:

news@nationalist.ie

Estate manager of top South East hotel takes action against employer

Estate manager of Mount Juliet takes action against employer

The estate manager of Mount Juliet Golf Club, which is due to host the Irish Open Golf tournament later this year, has launched High Court proceedings aimed at preventing his purported dismissal from his position by way of redundancy.

The action has been brought by Patrick O'Reilly, who has been employed by Mount Juliet Unlimited, which owns the Mount Juliet Estate in County Kilkenny since 2007.

As well as the Jack Nicklaus signature designed golf course, the estate encompasses two hotels, a series of high-end residences, a leisure centre and an equestrian centre. The estate is due to host the Irish Open golf tournament in May.

The High Court heard on Tuesday that Mr. O'Reilly was informed in a meeting last month that as part of a measure to cut costs his employer had identified his position as one at risk of redundancy.

He says that he was asked by his employer to engage in consultation process about that proposal, but claims that he has no knowledge or information about the relevant circumstances.

He believes for exchanges and correspondence that his employer is seeking to artificially create the impression that a meaningful consultation process was being conducted prior to a determination that his role is being declared redundant. 

Mr. O'Reilly claims that his employer has breached his rights under his contract of employment by failing to engage with in him in a genuine and effective consultation process where his right as a key employee would be vindicated. 

Represented by Richard Kean SC and Lyndon MacCann SC, instructed by Beauchamps solicitors, Mr. O'Reilly claims that he has not been given any genuine opportunity to engage or challenge his employer's conclusion. 

He says that he is not seeking to challenge any decision on redundancy as being unlawful under the Unfair Dismissals or Redundancy Payments Acts.

The matter was briefly mentioned before the Court on Tuesday when Mr O'Reilly's lawyers secured permission, on an ex-parte basis, from Ms. Justice Leonie Reynolds to serve short notice of the injunction application on the defendant.

The matter will return before the court later this week.