TWO former Fianna Fail MEPs are no longer seeking the dismissal of High Court actions against them by their former secretaries over allegedly being left without pensions.
It remains unclear, however, if the actions against James Fitzsimons and Liam Hyland will go ahead.
Kathleen Egan and Margaret Hackett claim they have been left without pensions because the MEPs claimed allowances for two other unnamed persons from the European Parliament rather than for them.
Ms Egan (61), Caucestown, Athboy, Co Meath, and Ms Hackett (66), Borris-in-Ossory, Co Laois, claimed they were employed as Dail secretaries and MEP assistants to Mr Fitzsimons and Mr Hyland respectively. Both men retired in 2004 and it was only then, the women claim, they realised they would not get pensions.
Both former MEPs denied the claims and brought applications to the court to have the cases dismissed on grounds of alleged abuse of process.
Today, counsel for the sides told the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, both motions to dismiss could be struck out and the judge made those orders.
Mr Justice Kearns was previously provided with information from the European Parliament relating to claims by the women of being left only with State pensions of about €800 monthly due to the alleged failure to submit allowance claims for them to the European Parliament.
Details of the contents of that information were not provided in open court as the European Parliament said it was private information.
Affidavits from the defendants were "striking" in how little they said about the matter and, although the European Parliament had said this was private information, it contained the identities of the persons who received the pensions, counsel said. .
Anthony Collins SC, for the defendants, said his clients had no objection to the judge reading the information.
The matter was adjourned a number of times and was due to be mentioned today but was instead mentioned before Mr Justice Kearns when counsel for the sides said the motions to dismiss could be struck out.
In their actions, Ms Egan and Ms Hackett have sued the former MEPs for alleged breach of contract, fraud and misfeasance in public office. They allege the failure to claim allowances for them has left them without pensions and they also allege that the MEPs, while employing the plaintiffs, submitted allowance claims for two other persons.
The former MEPs denied the claims and, in their applications for orders striking out the actions as alleged abuse of process, argued both women are bound by a July 2004 settlement of industrial relations proceedings which, it is alleged, covered their High Court claims.
In opposing the strike out motions, the women denied that claim.
The women claim the MEPs were entitled to submit claims under the European "Parliamentary Assistance Allowance"(PAA).
Ms Egan said the PAA was "generous", rising from IR£8,000 (€10,160) per month in 1995 to about €12,756 per month in 2004.
Solicitors for the women sought information from the European Parliament related to their claims Mr Fitzsimons and Mr Hyland applied for secretarial allowances for two other persons.
It was alleged Mr Fitzsimons had applied between July 1984 and December 2000, and Mr Hyland between July 1994 and December 2000, setting out the names of two others as their MEP assistants.