Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ruling later on legal bid to join five TDs to David Hall appeal

Tim Healy

A DECISION will be given later on a legal bid by five TDs – Clare Daly, Luke Flanagan, Mick Wallace, Joan Collins and Catherine Murphy – to be joined to a businessman's challenge to Government's payment of promissory notes.

The notes are in favour of the former Anglo Irish Bank and other financial institutions with a €25m payment to EBS is due in June, the Supreme Court heard yesterday. The TDs want to be joined to David Hall's Supreme Court appeal against the High Court's decision that, because he is not a TD, he does not have the required legal standing to challenge the lawfulness of the promissory notes.

The TDs believe citizens, as well as TDs, have the right to enforce the Constitution "in this matter of the greatest public interest", John Rogers SC, for Mr Hall and the deputies, said.

There was an "undoubted public interest" in their being joined to the case which was urgent as further promissory note payments are due, he said.

If Mr Hall wins his appeal, the case will go back to the High Court for determination of the substantive issue – whether the promissory note payment was lawful. As the High Court made no finding on that issue, it will not be addressed by the Supreme Court in the appeal.

Mr Hall's main claim is, under the Constitution, the Dail must authorise the State's financial expenditure but it had never voted in favour of the promissory notes under which, so far, €31bn has been paid with more payments to come.

The State has accepted there was no Dail vote but denies the specific mandate of the Dail was required. It claims the notes could be lawfully issued under the provisions of the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Act, 2008 and/or the Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Act 2009.

If Mr Hall loses, and the TDs have been joined to his appeal, they will continue the main case in the High Court.

If the Supreme Court refuses to join them to the Hall case, it is open to them to bring their own challenge, the court was told yesterday. The Supreme Court reserved its decision.

Irish Independent

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