Saturday 1 October 2016

Businessman Denis O'Brien seeks limited reporting restriction against RTE in High Court

Tim Healy

Published 12/05/2015 | 12:58

Denis O'Brien
Denis O'Brien

BUSINESSMAN Denis O'Brien's lawyers are seeking a limited reporting restriction on his High Court injunction application against RTE over a proposed broadcast report in relation to his private banking affairs, a judge was told today.

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Michael Cush SC, for Mr O'Brien, said without such a restriction - which would only be in place until the High Court decides on the injunction - the entire application would be set a nought because it would mean opening before the court the information at issue.

His side had sought this restriction even before RTE had replied to the original affidavits submitted on behalf of Mr O'Brien, counsel said.

They were not seeking anonymity or an in camera (private) hearing, but simply restricting publication through the court process, he said.

David Holland SC, for RTE, said they could not consent to anything which would inhibit ordinary reporting of the courts given his client's public role.

Asked by Mr Justice Donald Binchy did he agree that without restricted reporting it would set Mr O'Brien's application at nought, Mr Holland said he could see the force of that argument.

RTE had taken the initiative to ensure the information did not get into the public domain and that affidavits, which were exchanged this morning, would not be filed  but they could not consent to a reporting restriction, counsel said.

There was not just the issue of RTE's private interest here but of the broad public interest, he added.

Mr Justice Binchy said he would read the papers in the case and resume after lunch.

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