Publican Frank Gleeson battles Mercantile dismissal

Merger involving many of Dublin's most famous bars has been far from plain-sailing...

Publican Frank Gleeson battles Mercantile dismissal

Publican Frank Gleeson has secured temporary High Court injunctions preventing his dismissal as chief executive of the Mercantile Group of Dublin-based bars and restaurants.

The orders granted by Justice Paul Gilligan on Thursday also prevents any steps being taken to discipline Gleeson in relaince on the findings of a report commissioned by the company.

Speaking on behalf of Gleeson, Rossa Fanning SC said the orders had been sought ahead of a planned company meeting next week to consider the report into certain allegations of wrongdoing by his client.

These allegations have been denied, with the counsel calling the report irredeemably tainted, prejudicial and in breach of Gleeson's rights to fair procedures.

He said that the investigator had disregarded his own terms of reference, meaning that the report was therefore fundamentally and fatally flawed.

It is the latest development in a bitter legal dispute between shareholders, including Gleeson, in the Mercantile Group.

The group was formed from the merger of two separate hospitality companies last year. It brought Dame Street's Mercantile bar, the Green Hen on Exchequer Street and Whelan's of Wexford Street together with Capital Bars venues including The George and Café en Seine.

Under the merger, Frank Gleeson holds a 30% stake in Ardan Advisory, of which the group is a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The remaining 70% is owned by JT Magen (Capital Bars) LLC and Danu Advisory Partners Ltd. 

Gleeson has been on "gardening leave" since December. 

The group employs approximately 600 people and have revenues of approximately €40m per annum.