Friday 27 April 2018

O'Brien's demand for minutes of Dáil meeting struck out

Businessman Denis O'Brien. Photo: Tony Gavin
Businessman Denis O'Brien. Photo: Tony Gavin

Tim Healy

An application by businessman Denis O'Brien for orders aimed at compelling a Dáil Committee to hand over minutes of two of its meetings, plus other documents, has been struck out at the High Court.

The meetings concern decisions by the Committee on Procedures and Privileges (CPP) that Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy and Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty had not breached standing orders governing Oireachtas debates in their remarks concerning Mr O'Brien's banking affairs with State-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

The application for discovery of documents was brought in preparation for Mr O'Brien's action against the CPP and the State over those speeches.

In his proceedings, Mr O'Brien claimed there was a "clear public interest" in the courts determining whether Dáil utterances by the TDs in May and June 2015 effectively determined his legal action against RTÉ aimed at restraining publication of details of those banking affairs. He claims the defendants permitted the utterances be made in breach of his right to fair procedures and rights of privacy and access to the courts and in breach of standing orders regulating Oireachtas debates. This amounted to "unwarranted interference" by the Oireachtas with the operation of the courts "in a purely judicial domain", it is alleged.

The claims were denied. The defendants previously indicated they would oppose any application aimed at compelling them discover the documents. When Mr O'Brien's discovery application came before the court yesterday, it was told by counsel for Mr O'Brien it could be struck out.

Irish Independent

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