Less than four years after the failure of his splashy tabloid,
the St. Louis Sun, Ralph Ingersoll II has struck out again. This
time in Ireland. This time reducing his newspaper empire "to
practically nil," according to an Irish editor.
"You are out totally, subject to payments," the High Court in
Dublin told the Ingersoll organization, according to a story in the
Jan. 15th issue of Editor & Publisher. The court ordered Ingersoll
to sell his interest in Irish Press Group, which controls three
Ingersoll, now living in London, did not attend the lengthy
Dublin trial. He said he will appeal. The Irish High Court in
Dublin will hear appeals on Feb. 15.
Repeated efforts to speak with Ingersoll at Ingersoll
Publishing in London were unsuccessful. In earlier remarks to
Dublin's Sunday Business Post, Ingersoll attempted to remove
himself from the fray. "I am a minority shareholder in a Dutch
company that has a shareholding in the holding company," he said.
The adverse ruling came after a bitter court fight late last
year. Dublin's High Court ruled "in a very comprehensive judgment
against him," said Michael Keane, editor of the Sunday Press in
Dublin, one of the properties in which Ingersoll had invested.
Keane has relatives in the St. Louis area.
Accused of a breach of his management contract, "he was ordered
to pay damages for losses from November 1992 through December '93,"
said Keane. "Submissions of what those damages were will be
presented to the court. Irish Press PLC (which owns part of Irish
Press Group) claims the losses were in the range of 12 million
Irish pounds," roughly $17.2 million in American dollars.
Ingersoll's troubles in Ireland pitted him against a family
that is something of the Irish equivalent of America's Kennedy
clan. Eamon de Valera, managing director of Irish Press PLC and
grandson of the man who took part in the 1916 Easter Rebellion that
led to Irish independence, was part of the lawsuit against
Ingersoll counter-sued, claiming de Valera had done things he
was not authorized to do. Eamon de Valera's grandfather and
namesake founded the newspapers in the 1920s. He was president and
prime minister of Ireland, off-and-on from the early '30s through
the mid-'70s. In its ruling, the High Court agreed with de Valera
and Irish Press PLC that Ingersoll failed to provide the management
expertise that had been promised. …