Bid by TDs to join legal case still undecided
The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on a bid by five TDs – Clare Daly, Luke Flanagan, Mick Wallace, Joan Collins and Catherine Murphy – to be joined to businessman David Hall’s challenge to the Government’s payment of promissory notes in favour of the former Anglo Irish Bank and other financial institutions.
A €25 million payment to EBS is due in June, the court heard. The TDs want to be joined to Mr Hall’s Supreme Court appeal against the High Court’s recent 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”, senior counsel John Rogers, for Mr Hall and the deputies, said.
There was an “undoubted public interest” in the TDs being joined to the case, which was urgent as further promissory note payments were 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 Dáil must authorise the State’s financial expenditure, but it had never voted in favour of the promissory notes.
The State has accepted there was no Dáil vote but denies the specific mandate of the Dáil 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.
Mr Rogers said the proposed joining of the TDs was the most efficient way to proceed and arose from how the case developed in the High Court.