Ryanair's Chief Operations Officer Peter Bellew has told the High Court that Michael O'Leary roared and shouted at him, and said "You are f**king useless" at meetings of the airline's senior executives.

Mr Bellew said that he was "screamed at" by Mr O'Leary at meetings between Ryanair and the senior executives; known as Zs. 

He said that Mr O'Leary had raised serious issues with, and was critical of his performance as COO, in a note to Mr Bellew in November 2018 and in his annual review in March 2019.

On what was his second day under cross-examination by Martin Hayden SC for Ryanair, Mr Bellew said he did not accept the criticism directed at him and described Mr O'Leary's behaviour towards him as "unreasonable."

He told the court that as COO he had reached all the targets that Mr O'Leary had set for him, and added that the Ryanair board had no issue with his performance.

He said that it was "very clear" that Mr O'Leary wanted him gone. 

In reply to Mr Hayden, who asked was it not a case that "if Mr O'Leary wanted him gone he would have been gone," Mr Bellew said that he believed that Mr O'Leary would not have fired him until after the company's  "contentious" AGM in September 2019.

Mr Bellew was giving evidence on the eighth day of Ryanair's action against Mr Bellew, who Ryanair has sued over his decision to take up employment with EasyJet next month.

The hearing following the conclusion of submissions from both parties has concluded.

Mr Justice Senan Allen said he hoped to be in a position to give his decision next Friday, but given the volume of material in the action may not be able to give a full decision until Monday, December 23rd.

In a claim, denied by Mr Bellew, Ryanair says he cannot commence work with what it considers to be its main rival in the low fares aviation sector because of a 12-month non-compete clause in his contract of employment.

Under cross-examination, Mr Bellew accepted that he commenced talks with EasyJet about the possibility of taking up a position with that airline in April 2019.

He accepted that all airlines are in competition with Ryanair, and said that when he was in talks with EasyJet, an airline which has always recognised trade unions, it did not want "the baggage" of Ryanair which he said included a culture of screaming at people.

However, he told the court that he did not make up his mind to leave until a few days after being asked by Michael O'Leary to go to Vienna and work full time at Laudamotion for six months. 

Mr Bellew said that he made what was a difficult decision to go to EasyJet after talking over the move with his wife, but felt he had no option other than to quit.

He accepted he did not tell Michael O'Leary that he was joining EasyJet the day he handed in his resignation last July but denied Mr O'Leary's contention that he told the Ryanair boss he was going travelling.

He also accepted Counsel's contention that a few days later he told Mr O'Leary he was going to EasyJet but did not tell him that it was being publicly announced by EasyJet the following day.

He said that he did not believe he was bound by the non-compete clause in his contract, after he was not offered share options for 2019 to replace a 2018 scheme. 

He said he was included in the 2018 scheme but due to various factors that scheme, which he said was not referred to in two of Ryanair's company reports, became "worthless".

He had hoped that he would be included but realised in July after being asked to go to Austria he was finished in Ryanair.

In reply to counsel, he said he was "misled" by Mr O'Leary as he said the airline's remuneration committee had approved him as a participant in the 2019 share option scheme but was never told of this by the Ryanair boss.

He only learned of the committee's decision in the course of preparing for the legal action when documents were exchanged between the parties. 

In its action, Ryanair seeks an order requiring Mr Bellew to specifically perform his contract of employment with Ryanair, which includes the non-compete clause.

It also seeks an injunction preventing Mr Bellew of Glenconnor House, Killarney, Co Kerry from acting contrary to the post-termination restrictions allegedly contained his contract of employment. 

In his defence, Mr Bellew denies any breach of contract and says the purported clause is unenforceable.