| 15.4°C Dublin

Promissory note challenge by TD postponed

A PEOPLE-Before-Profit TD's legal challenge to the planned payment next month by the Government of a further €25m in promissory notes has been adjourned to next week.

Joan Collins, who represents Dublin South Central, was last week given permission by the High Court to bring an application to challenge the next payment of the promissory notes, intended to pay for the €30 billion recapitalisation of the former Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Nationwide and the Educational Building Society.

In her action against the Minister for Finance Ireland and the Attorney General Ms Collins in her capacity as a TD, is seeking reliefs condemning next month's promissory notes payments.  

She also seeking various declarations including that the paymnets by the Minister on foot of the promissory notes are unlawful, and unconstitutional.

She claims the appropriation of public monies authorised by the Minister otherwise than by a vote of Dail Eireann is unlawful.

She is also seeking a declaration that section 17 of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Act 2013, which allowed for the immediate liquidation of the former Anglo Irish Bank is unconstitutional. 

Section 17 of the 2013 Act allows the Minister offer securities in exchange for the redemption, release or cancellation of promissory notes.

Deputy Collins further seeks a permanent injunction restraining the payment of any sums due on foot of any securities issued  or created by the Minister under section 17 if the IBRC Act.

Today (Thursday)at the High Court Mr Justice Feeney agreed to adjourn the matter to next Thursday.

Ross Maguire SC for Deputy Collins said his client was seeking an early hearing date as the payment of the €25m is due to be made on June 17th next.

Ms Collins had, with a number of other TDs, unsuccessfully sought to be joined in an appeal over a similar challenge to the promissory notes brought by businessman David Hall.  

The High Court ruled Mr Hall did not have the required legal standing to bring that challenge and he has appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

After Ms Collins application to be joined failed she took comfort from the Supreme Court's indication that an effort would be made to have Mr Hall's appeal dealt with prior to June 2013.

However counsel said that this had not proven possible, and his client decided to litigate the matter herself. The matter should be heard as soon as possible and a statement of claim had already been served on the state.

In reply to the request for an early hearing date Michael McDowell SC for the Minister said he was keeping his "powder dry", as the action was been adjourned.

Counsel said Ms Collins had known about the proposed payment date of June 17th for some time, and yet only decided to initiate her action last Thursday, which was the last day of the legal term.

Deputy Collins was seeking an urgent hearing on what are very important, fundamental and serious issues- particularly in relation to the 2013 IBRC Act, counsel said.

Her action could impact on the Minister's ability to to offer securities when seeking loans on the international market to pay for the States day to day needs, counsel added

The Judge said that in light of the request for an early hearing he was listing the action before the President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns.

Online Editors