'Baffled' wife alleges in court yoga group has 'considerable influence' over husband's business affairs

By Ann O'Loughlin

A woman has launched High Court proceedings against her husband over the manner in which he has allegedly been conducting the affairs of their civil engineering business.

The action has been brought by Hilda Mackey against her husband Michael Mackey concerning the operation of Mackey Plant Construction Ltd, an engineering and steel fabrication and installation works business based at Stereame Business Park in Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

The couple, both of Benedine, Nenagh, Tipperary are the founding directors and joint shareholders of the firm, which employs more than 25 people.

However, Hilda Mackey claims that she has been left "baffled" by her husband's behaviour over the last 18 months.

She claims in a sworn statement that without her consent her husband allegedly improperly removed €300,000 from the company and a company pension fund to the detriment of the employees, owners and creditors of the company.

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Her husband has allegedly been receiving advice and coaching from a yoga group, which she says her husband joined in 2016.

She fears members of this group may have accompanied him when he allegedly withdrew the company funds from the bank.

She also claims that certain members of the group allegedly appear to be advising him and seem to have considerable influence over him.

He has also allegedly given them confidential company information, she has claimed.

She further says Michael Mackey has allegedly undermined the action of project managers by giving contradicting instructions to junior staff on the basis that it is his company.

She says that as a result of her husband's alleged actions she fears for the company's future. She says attempts to resolve their differences have not succeeded and the relationship between them has broken down.

Mrs Mackey claims she has no choice other than to bring proceedings.

Mrs Mackey, represented by Brian Walker Bl, seeks various orders from the court, including one allowing her to conduct a general meeting of the company later this month and appoint a son Karl Mackey as an additional director of the company.

She further seeks a declaration under the 2014 Companies Act that the affairs in the company are being conducted in a manner oppressive to her interests.

In the alternative to a winding up order she also seeks an order for the purchase of Mr Mackey's shares in the business.

Following an application by Mr Walker at the High Court today, Mr Justice Tony O'Connor granted Mrs Mackey permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on Mr Mackey.

Counsel told the court Mr Mackey is currently out of the country, and is believed to be in Portugal.

The case will return before the High Court next week.

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