A High Court judge in Northern Ireland has ordered four former directors of the North South Pig Company to pay €1,831,947 to the firm.

Justice Huddleston ruled against the former directors which include; Michael McAuliffe, Fahaduff, Castleisland, Co Kerry, Jim McGrath, Ballinameela, Cappagh, Co Waterford, David Ronan, Rosegreen, Cashel, Co Tipperary, and John Hanrahan, Kilmore, Granagh, Kilmallock, Co Limerick in the High Court of Justice Belfast on 19 February 2021.

The former directors were found to have acted in breach of their fiduciary duties on a number of counts including the establishment of Truly Irish Country Foods in competition with North South Pig Company while as directors, making the payment of dividends and director expenses.

Far from over

Former director Michael McAuliffe told the Irish Farmers Journal that an appeal will be lodged against the court ruling.

“This case is far from over. The court ruled that the North South Pig Company does not own the Truly Irish brand,” McAuliffe said.

“Truly Irish is now looking at the option of bringing legal action against the North South Pig Company.”

Company detriment

Ongoing since 2015, the case was complex in law and fact. Justice Huddleston found that the former directors used their positions to the detriment of the company and its shareholders.

No wrongdoing was found against Truly Irish Country Foods and there was no involvement by the other three current and non-voting directors.

Judgement award in the case amounted to €1,174,325 plus interest of €657,622, with an application for costs to follow judgement.

North South Pig Company has said: “We delighted that this legal case is behind us and can focus on the future direction of the company and continue to work for the shareholders.”