Longford company secures injunction against former manager it claims is hiving off its business to rival operator

Aodhan O'Faolain

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Aodhan O'Faolain

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Longford company secures injunction against former manager it claims is hiving off its business to rival operator

Longford company secures injunction against former manager it claims is hiving off its business to rival operator

A firm that provides environmental management services has secured a temporary injunction against a former manager it claims had been diverting work to another company.

The interim injunction was secured by McHale Utility Services Ltd trading as Longford Environmental against Mr Richard Chester who it is claimed has interfered with the firm's customers and diverted business to another business he is involved in.

The company, of Athlone Road, Longford says its has a particular specialties in hazardous and demanding works including asbestos removal, decontamination and land remediation.

Represented in its high court action by David Kennedy SC Longford Environmental claims that the defendant is still holding himself out as its employee in a bid to acquire its customers. 

In a sworn statement to the court Longford Environmental Director Matthew McHale said that the defendant, who had worked for his business for many years. had been in a relationship with his daughter, which had broken down.

Last July he said Mr Chester left a house owned by Mr McHale which the defendant had been living in with his former partner and their children.

Mr McHale said that after that Mr Chester, of Castle Park, Newtownforbes, Co Longford, barely spoke to him and around this time refused to follow and ignore various reasonable requests regarding the companies business.

Mr Chester's employment came to an end on March 9 last, and Mr McHale said he removed various important company owned items including work diaries, mobile phones and a computer hard drive.

Some of these items were recovered by the Gardai who called to the defendant's home Mr McHale said, adding that Mr McHale was using a mobile phone number that he says belongs to Longford Environmental.

Mr McHale said that the company was in profit until the time Mr Chester and his daughter fell out. Since then he suspects that the defendant was "hiving off work" and giving it to a competitor in Dublin.

He added that the since Mr Chester left the company has had no inquiries by phone. The decline he added was due to the defendant's actions and is not due to the Covid-19 virus.

As a result of Mr Chester's actions Counsel told the court that his client was seeking various orders including the return of items it says the defendant has no entitlement to keep.

Counsel told the court that in correspondence from Mr Chester's lawyers all allegations of wrongdoing were denied that the defendant was prepared to meet any court proceedings taken against him by the firm.

The injunction was granted, on an ex-parte basis by Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds at the High Court on Friday. 

The injunction restrains Mr Chester from holding himself out as being involved or being a representative of with Longford Environmental so as to procure their business. 

The order also restrains Mr Chester from from using the mobile phone number, and that he transfer the number, the account and all other company property to the plaintiff. 

The judge made the matter returnable to a date later this month.