Thursday 22 March 2018

O'Brien to ask court for name of Red Flag client

Denis O'Brien
Denis O'Brien

Tim Healy

Denis O'Brien will next week ask the High Court to order the Red Flag consulting firm to identify its client for a dossier of material related to the businessman, most of which he claims is unfavourable to him.

Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh said he was "surprised" to hear Mr O'Brien is not proceeding at this stage with his application for inspection of material photographed from devices of Red Flag and its staff.

He was responding to being told by Michael Cush SC that the inspection matter could be addressed later via the ordinary court disclosure of documents (discovery) process.

The judge said he was "surprised" to be told the inspection application is not proceding - he had given it an early date on the basis inspection was urgent and because of the issues raised.

Now he was being told there would be no inspection application, and wondered why there should be an early hearing for an order directing identification of the client.

When the judge asked was the inspection application "gone", Mr Cush replied "no".

Once the material is imaged, the need for inspection orders may fall away and the matter can be addressed in discovery applications, counsel said.

Michael Collins SC, for Red Flag, said most of the material was imaged.

Counsel said it seemed Mr Cush was seeking a modified version of the original orders and wanted disclosure of the identity of the person who commissioned the dossier.

Red Flag opposed that, and wants orders permitting it to inspect a USB computer stick "that the court has heard so much about", counsel said.

Mr O'Brien previously said the dossier was contained on a USB stick sent to him anonymously. The judge adjourned the matter to next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal heard Red Flag account manager Brid Murphy is appealing the judge's refusal of a stay on his order permitting the imaging of her computers and devices used for work purposes. Ms Murphy argues such imaging amounts to an unwarranted invasion of her privacy.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly fixed December 18 for the hearing of Ms Murphy's appeal.

Mr O'Brien initiated proceedings last October alleging a conspiracy to damage him both professionally and personally.

The case is against Red Flag Consulting, two of its executives, Karl Brophy and Seamus Conboy, non-executive director Gavin O'Reilly and two staff - Ms Murphy and Karl Hiney.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News