Sunday 23 July 2017

O'Brien wants an urgent hearing in Red Flag case

A hearing date for the action against Red Flag and some of its executives and employees has yet to be set (Stock picture)
A hearing date for the action against Red Flag and some of its executives and employees has yet to be set (Stock picture)

Tim Healy

Businessman Denis O'Brien wants an urgent hearing of his appeal aimed at establishing the identity of a client who commissioned a dossier of allegedly defamatory material.

However, the President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Sean Ryan, indicated it may not be possible to fix a hearing date this year.

Documents

Mr O'Brien has appealed refusals by the High Court to require Red Flag Consulting discover documents which would disclose the client's identity, or concerning publication of the dossier.

The businessman has said the dossier, including documents entitled: "Who is Denis O'Brien?" and "Moriarty Tribunal Explainer", was on a USB memory stick in an envelope put anonymously on his desk in October 2015.

Red Flag has said the dossier included its material and it is entitled to keep the client's identity confidential. It denies defamation or conspiracy and has also raised issues about how Mr O'Brien got the dossier.

A hearing date for the action against Red Flag and some of its executives and employees has yet to be set.

Michael Cush SC, for Mr O'Brien, said his side's appeal was urgent for reasons including there is a maximum two years to bring defamation cases and he needed to know the identity of the client to consider whether to sue that person as well as Red Flag.

Opposing the application, William Abrahamson BL, for Red Flag, argued Mr O'Brien wanted to "skip the queue".

Mr Justice Ryan said he could not grant a priority hearing for reasons including pressures on the court's lists and whether this matter was entitled to priority over others.

Irish Independent

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