Wednesday 7 December 2016

O'Brien entitled to disagree on privilege - but power lies with TDs, not the courts

David Kenny

Published 05/08/2015 | 02:30

Denis O'Brien
Denis O'Brien

Denis O'Brien's legal action against the Dáil Committee on Procedure and Privileges (CPP) raises fundamental questions about how and why our Constitution distributes power between our legislature and our courts.

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Mr O'Brien is claiming that the CPP was wrong to find that Catherine Murphy TD did not abuse Dáil privilege by discussing allegations surrounding his banking arrangements in the course of a parliamentary debate, the publication of which, he claimed in a contemporaneous court action against RTÉ, would breach his right to privacy.

Mr O'Brien's solicitors have alleged that the Oireachtas has no "effective parliamentary procedures to prevent a member abusing parliamentary privilege".

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