Tuesday 27 September 2016

O'Brien launches legal action against State and Oireachtas

Tim Healy

Published 17/06/2015 | 02:30

Denis O’Brien has initiated legal action against the State
Denis O’Brien has initiated legal action against the State

Businessman Denis O'Brien has initiated a legal action against the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission and the State arising from speeches and remarks made in the Dáil related to his banking affairs with Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

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Michael Cush SC, for Mr O'Brien, told the President of the High Court yesterday that he would be seeking an early directions hearing of the latest proceedings, in which the businessman wants various declarations.

It is understood those declarations arise from various utterances made in the Dáil under privilege, including those by Independent TD Catherine Murphy and Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty.

It is believed Mr O'Brien will argue the effect of those utterances was to decide in whole or in part the separate proceedings by himself and IBRC concerning their banking relationship and that this amounts to interference with the operation of the courts.

It is also understood he will argue that permitting the utterance to be made (in the Dáil) amounts to breach of his rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights.

Mr Cush said the proceedings are against the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, Ireland and the Attorney General.

His side wants declarations in relation to matters mentioned in the context of Mr O'Brien's other proceedings against RTÉ, brought over a planned broadcast concerning Mr O'Brien's personal banking affairs with IBRC.

Mr Cush said he was making an inquiry whether the court would facilitate an early hearing of an application for directions concerning the hearing of latest proceedings. A statement of claim would be issued very soon, he said.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said it was not usual to hold a directions hearing prior to the issuing of a statement of claim and the court would list the matter for July 1 when it would hear from both sides.

Earlier this week the High Court refused RTÉ's application to fully discharge an injunction restraining publication of certain information relating to the banking relationship between Mr O'Brien and State owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

The judge said it was not appropriate to discharge the existing order in full but he would amend it to take accounts of developments.

Irish Independent

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