Denis O'Brien defends his decision to sue politicians
Businessman Denis O’Brien yesterday defended his decision to sue the members of the Oireachtas Committee on Procedure and Privileges (CPP). In a statement to the media, issued through his spokesman, Mr O’Brien said he did so because the CPP “failed to properly investigate” complaints about the alleged abuse of Dail privilege by TDs Pearse Doherty and Catherine Murphy.
Mr O’Brien said he respects the principle of Dail privilege “as long as it is not exploited”.
“I took this decision because I believe the Dail Committee on Procedure and Privileges failed to properly investigate complaints about abuse of Dail privilege by Catherine Murphy TD and Pearse Doherty TD, abuse which resulted in the compromising of orders handed down by the High Court,” he said.
“I wish to state that I respect Dail privilege as long as it is not exploited,” the businessman said.
Mr O’Brien, who is the largest single shareholder in Independent News and Media, which publishes this newspaper, said he concurs absolutely with a CPP statement from April which said the right to one’s good name is a fundamental right, and persons outside the House should not be referred to in a manner which would adversely affect their good names or reputations. The CPP also said “the Constitution confers absolute privilege on members of Dail Eireann in respect of their utterances in the House, and CPP is of the view that under no circumstances should this be abused.”
Mr O’Brien’s decision to sue has been criticised by TDs across the political divide. Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said Mr O’Brien should “back off”.