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Murphy cleared by watchdog of abusing privilege


Denis O’Brien lodged a formal complaint against TD Murphy

Denis O’Brien lodged a formal complaint against TD Murphy

Denis O’Brien lodged a formal complaint against TD Murphy

Independent TD Catherine Murphy did not abuse privilege by raising the banking affairs of businessman Denis O'Brien in the Dáil, an Oirechtas committee has ruled.

Mr O'Brien called on the Oireachtas to sanction Mr Murphy for raising his banking affairs in the Dáil.

William Fry solicitors, acting on behalf of Mr O'Brien, wrote to Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett to lodge a formal complaint against Ms Murphy for acting "recklessly" and showing "total disregard" to the judiciary by disclosing information that was the subject of a court order.

Mr O'Brien also personally wrote to Mr Barrett, as did Siteserv chief executive Sean Corke, complaining about statements made by Ms Murphy in the Dáil.

The complaints have been rejected by the Oireachtas Procedures and Privilege Committee (CPP).

On May 28 and 29, Mr O'Brien's legal firm wrote to the Ceann Comhairle after Ms Murphy disclosed details of his banking arrangements. Mr O'Brien was granted a court injunction against RTÉ stopping it from broadcasting details of his personal bank affairs.

"In the space of less than one week, Deputy Murphy chose to disregard the terms of a court order which she had accepted was bound by and . . . proceeded to disclose significant personal, private and confidential banking information pertaining to our client under the guise of deliberate and manifest abuse of Dáil privilege," the May 29 letter stated.

"Deputy Murphy purports to justify the abuse on grounds of public interest yet you must accept in doing so she sought to place her interpretation of the public interest over the adjunction of the High Court," it added.

Irish Independent