The man who masterminded over one billion dollars worth of aid from Ireland to the world’s poorest countries is to retire from his role as chief executive of the GOAL charity – after a bitter row.
John O’Shea formally announced his retirement from the body to Dublin’s High Court after a legal battle with the board of the charity he founded.
A former sports journalist with the Evening Press and a renowned athlete, O’Shea used his sporting contacts to build GOAL into one of Ireland’s most successful charities.
His relationship with the board has deteriorated in recent times however, culminating in a court case he took to prevent them removing him his position as CEO.
Now the High Court has heard that agreement has been reached between the two parties on a deal that will see O’Shea retire from his position at the end of August.
Already speculation is mounting that his daughter Lisa, currently employed by GOAL, will apply for the CEO job when it is advertised publicly.
The 68-year-old O’Shea confirmed he is stepping down from the organisation he established in 1977. He may take up a new role as a GOAL ambassador.
O’Shea said: “I wish to express my profound thanks to many thousands of individuals who have helped me in my efforts to alleviate the suffering of some of the poorest people on the planet.”
In a statement GOAL said: “A mutually acceptable arrangement has been agreed between the parties. The board would like to pay tribute to Mr O’Shea and his astonishing work and contribution to GOAL.
“We intend to explore opportunities to collaborate with John for the betterment of the organisation, given his vast experience and expertise.”
GOAL’s 2010 accounts show that it received over €16m from the Irish taxpayer despite frequent criticism from O’Shea of the Irish government’s policy in relation to third world poverty.
O’Shea had claimed in the High Court last month that there was a ‘concerted effort’ to remove him from his position.
He had to deny that there was a culture of ‘institutionalised bullying’ at the charity after a number of complaints were made against him by GOAL managers.
All but one board member of GOAL has resigned since last September in a series of internal disputes.