Business Irish

Monday 23 April 2018

Bula Resources shareholder claim for losses dismissed

Stock image
Stock image

Tim Healy

A businesswoman who claims she was the largest shareholder in the wound-up Bula Resources oil exploration company cannot continue a High Court action for losses she said she suffered arising out of a government-ordered inquiry into the firm in the 1990s.

Mary Kieran, who says she owned 3.95pc of Bula's issued share capital, via a company called Chamonix Nominees, sued the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, the State, and barrister Lyndon MacCann.

Mr MacCann was appointed in 1997 by then-Minister Mary Harney, to investigate the beneficial ownership of Bula shares held by the Mir Oil Development company up to November 1996 and by Chamonix Nominees after that date.

Mr MacCann found that Bula's chief executive James Stanley had at all times controlled Mir Oil Development.

Ms Kieran was among individuals interviewed by Mr MacCann as part of his investigation in 1998.

In February 2016, she issued High Court proceedings against the State parties and Mr MacCann claiming, among other things, fraudulent misrepresentation, malicious falsehood and defamation.

Ms Kieran claimed Minister Harney wrongly acted under the dictation of Mr MacCann without her own evaluation of the situation on the ground in Russia. She claimed Mr MacCann's report falsely and maliciously characterised a well drilled in the Siberia as "a dud". The claims were denied.

The defendants sought to have her action dismissed. The case was heard last month, although Ms Kieran was not able to appear. Yesterday, Mr Justice Charles Meenan dismissed her case as statute barred - or out of time.

Irish Independent

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