Saturday 29 April 2017

Engineering boss 'can get on with life' after tribunal findings quashed

Joseph Murphy Jnr leaving the Four Courts yesterday. Photo: Collins
Joseph Murphy Jnr leaving the Four Courts yesterday. Photo: Collins

Tim Healy

The High Court has quashed, on consent, findings of the planning tribunal against the chairman of Joseph Murphy Structural Engineering (JMSE).

Joseph Murphy junior took proceedings against the tribunal over adverse findings against him in its second and third interim reports.

Yesterday the tribunal acknowledged some material had not been disclosed to Mr Murphy, his late father Joseph Murphy senior and others associated with Murphy interests.

This was unlawful and breached Mr Murphy's Constitutional rights, it said.

The material in question would have enabled the Murphys to conduct an effective and comprehensive cross-examination of the tribunal's main witness, the late James Gogarty.

Following the court's order, Mr Murphy said he was delighted with the outcome.

What the tribunal had found was "far removed" from the values he and his late father had in business, he said.

The tribunal was set up 20 years ago and made findings in 2002 which had "huge consequences" for his business.

Asked if he is to receive any damages as part of the case, he said no, but he was happy with the result and he wanted to "get on with my life".

Reports

A number of statements taken during the tribunal's private investigations were either not disclosed or only disclosed in redacted form and were subsequently the subject of findings in the tribunal's second and third interim reports.

In February last year, the tribunal furnished Mr Murphy with further material which had not been made available and which the tribunal said ought to have been disclosed.

The tribunal acknowledged the findings were made in circumstances which breached the Murphys' rights to fair procedures.

It also acknowledged the findings were unlawful and that they received "enormous publicity which has been extremely damaging to them".

Mr Justice Seamus Noonan, who was also told Ireland and the Attorney General was consenting to a strike out of the case, granted the orders as sought.

Irish Independent

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