HENCHY RELIEVED OF DAIRYGOLD POSITION
The board of Dairygold are to seek a new boss following the decision this week to relieve Jerry Henchy of his position as chief executive. In a statement to The Avondhu this Wednesday a Dairygold spokesman said that the board had decided that now was an appropriate time to seek a dedicated full-time chief executive for Dairygold.
Mr Henchy is currently chief executive of Reox Holdings, a group that acts as an umbrella body for Breeo Foods, 4 Home D.I.Y. stores and Alchemy Properties.
“Since the de-merger of substantial business operations from Dairygold to Reox Holdings plc the society has been availing of the services of Jerry Henchy, chief executive of Reox Holdings in the role of chief executive of the society. The board of Dairygold believes that the time is now right for a change in this arrangement and for the society to have its own full-time chief executive,” a statement from Dairygold read.
Hundreds of jobs in the North Cork region had been lost due to cutbacks in both Dairygold and sister brand Galtee during Mr Henchy’s tenure as chief executive, with the latter brand’s Mitchelstown factory, a significant source of employment in the town for generations, demolished last year.
The news was expected to be discussed late Wednesday night at the monthly meeting of the Dairygold Mitchelstown Regional committee. In the summer of 2007 local TD Ned O’Keeffe was one of a group that protested against the ongoing job losses in Mitchelstown.
Local businessman Tony Lewis, member of the ‘Save Galtee’ group that had been critical of Mr Henchy’s management of Dairygold welcomed the news.
“My views on his tenure and performance are well documented, as are the views of the Mitchelstown Business Association and the vast majority of the community of Mitchelstown who look dimly on his management and style. He gave no more hope to Dairygold than Bush did to America,” Mr Lewis told The Avondhu.
“This could prove to be the dawn of a new era for Dairygold, and the dawn of new hope for the Dairygold community. Whoever takes on the position has a daunting task ahead of them but I wish Mr Henchy’s replacement well. Hopefully whoever assumes the role will support and work with the community unlike their predecessor,” he added.
The local chairman of Limerick County Council, Ballylanders based Cllr John Gallahue also expressed his satisfaction at the news of Jerry Henchy’s departure as Dairygold chief.
“His arrival was the greatest disaster ever to befall Mitchelstown”, Cllr Gallahue told The Avondhu.
“A once thriving industry that employed up to 3,000 people has been decimated under his reign. The Galtee bacon factory is now a derelict site and the other once reputed brands have been outsourced.”
“The setting up of the various off shoots of Dairygold was a ‘trick of the loop’ exercise and farmers were left with no say”, Gallahue concluded.
A reliable source told The Avondhu that ‘ the ground had moved’ at board level in Dairygold over the past few months. The source added that Pat O’Keeffe, a son of the Fianna Fail deputy, Ned O’Keeffe, had been elected on to the board last year and that this may have been a factor in this alleged power shift at the co op.
The Dairygold statement issued this Wednesday added that a process is being put in place for the recruitment and appointment of a chief executive and that in the interim Michael Harte, the society’s chief financial officer has been appointed acting chief executive.
Commenting on the development, Vincent Buckley, chairman of Dairygold said; “It was envisaged at the time of the de-merger of Reox Holdings plc that the society would eventually need its own chief executive. The time is now appropriate to move ahead and appoint a full time chief executive whose task will be to focus on the business of the society.
" We face enormous challenges in our dairy and agri businesses in maximising the return to our farmer members during these extremely difficult times. We thank Jerry Henchy for his tireless efforts and valued service to Dairygold Co-op and I personally wish to thank him for his help since I became chairman.”
Friday 30th January 6:18pm