Tuesday 16 January 2018

Businessman Denis O'Brien seeks High Court injunction against RTE

Denis O'Brien
Denis O'Brien
Mr Justice Paul Gilligan

Tim Healy

Businessman Denis O'Brien is seeking a High Court injunction against RTE preventing what he says is a broadcast report about certain details in relation to his private banking affairs.

Michael Cush SC, for Mr O'Brien, was given permission yesterday by Mr Justice Paul Gilligan to serve at short notice on RTE of his intention to seek the injunction.

The application was made ex-parte, with only one side represented, and the matter comes back before the judge today.

Mr Cush handed in two sealed envelopes to the judge, the first of which contained a letter from RTE to Mr O'Brien outlining the fact that work was being carried out by the news department on a report to be broadcast today, but with no time given for when it would be aired.

The letter says the report will state certain matters and asks certain questions, but at no point is it suggested there is any wrongdoing on anybody's part which would be relevant to the public interest, counsel said.

In the second letter written by Mr O'Brien, it refers to details of particular sums of money representing his indebtedness to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, but it is all clearly referable to his personal banking facilities and it is "undoubtedly confidential", counsel said.

It is private information and RTE must have known that and that there is no countervailing interest that it be disclosed, he said.

The urgency of the matter was that the broadcast was due to go out today, but counsel was only seeking short notice service of Mr O'Brien's intention to seek an injunction.

Mr Justice Gilligan said he was satisfied to grant "short service" and ordered the papers should be served immediately on the defendant.

Irish Independent

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