High Court reporters
A legal action brought by a director of a North Co Dublin-based branch of the optical retail chain Specsavers aimed at preventing his dismissal from the firm has been resolved, the High Court has been told.
The action had been brought by Matthew Richards, who has worked for many years as a retail director at the company’s branch in Swords, against Swords Specsavers Limited and Specsavers Ireland Limited.
He had claimed that a decision to summarily dismiss him from his job, on grounds of alleged gross misconduct, was going to be taken at a meeting that had been scheduled to take place earlier this month.
Mr Richards, who strongly contested the allegations against him, claimed in High Court proceedings that any purported decision to dismiss him at that meeting would not have been made in accordance with law, nor in compliance with his contractual entitlements.
As a result, he applied to the High Court for an injunction aimed at preventing the meeting from going ahead, and secured permission to serve short notice of his proceedings against the defendant.
The matter had stood adjourned before returning before Ms Justice Siobhan Stack on Wednesday morning, who was informed by Imogen McGrath SC, for the defendants, that the matter had been resolved.
Following an application by counsel, the judge agreed to adjourn the matter for a period of five weeks to allow for the implementation of the settlement agreement. No terms of the agreement, which is understood to be confidential, were given in open court.
Mr Richards, represented by Oisin Quinn SC, instructed by solicitor Andrew Turner, sought to injunct a meeting, which was to discuss whether Mr Richards should be dismissed for alleged gross misconduct.
The court heard Mr Richards was being blamed after it emerged that an optometrist who had moved to work in Swords from abroad had not been properly registered with the Irish Optical Board CORU, as is required, despite having been registered with the relevant regulatory authority in the UK.
Mr Richards did not know that the optometrist had not completed their registration with the Irish authority, and does not accept that he was responsible for what occurred.
The optometrist resigned from the company after the registration issues came to light.
Mr Richard had claimed the meeting would not have proceeded in accordance with the terms and conditions of his contract of employment and the company’s own constitution.
Mr Richards, with an address at Stamullen, Co Meath, claimed any decision to dismiss him, which he is entitled to appeal, would have far-reaching consequences for him and his family.