Sunday 11 December 2016

Ganley says judge must step aside in RTÉ case

Tim Healy

Published 16/03/2016 | 02:30

Mr Ganley claims Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh should recuse himself from the case in which the businessman says he was defamed by RTÉ ‘Prime Time’ in November 2008.
Mr Ganley claims Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh should recuse himself from the case in which the businessman says he was defamed by RTÉ ‘Prime Time’ in November 2008.

Businessman Declan Ganley says a High Court judge should not hear a defamation action he is taking against RTÉ, after he expressed views about him in the past.

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Mr Ganley, a founder the Libertas lobby group, claims Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh should recuse himself from the case in which the businessman says he was defamed by RTÉ 'Prime Time' in November 2008.

He claims 'Prime Time' attempted to discredit him both personally and professionally and undermined his opposition to the Lisbon Treaty.

Mr Justice MacEochaidh said last month he will only recuse himself following a hearing on the matter in open court. He set yesterday for the hearing of the matter to give the Ganley side an opportunity to file a notice of motion seeking recusal.

However, he was told by Paul Burns SC, for Mr Ganley, the motion had not been filed in time due to the fact that his client had not been available to sign the necessary affidavit.

Paul O'Higgins SC, for RTÉ, said it was an abuse of process - although Mr Burns said he took exception to that description.

Mr Justice MacEochaidh, who was told there are preliminary matters which the court will have to deal with, said he was prepared to adjourn the matter until after Easter.

It would not be possible to deal with the other matters until the recusal issue was first deal with, he said.

There were special circumstances in this case in that Mr Ganley "is of the view that I lack impartiality in regard to him for expressing some negative view about him in the past".

He would not grant costs against Mr Ganley in relation to the fact the case was not ready to go ahead as scheduled.

Irish Independent

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