Man claims promissory notes are flawed
Promissory notes amounting to more than €31 billion in financial support for Irish financial institutions, including the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, are flawed and payment on them cannot be made, it has been claimed in the High Court.
Businessman David Hall of College Grove, Castleknock, Dublin, described as an employer and “a person with significant tax payments and obligations” is seeking to prevent the Government making payments on foot of the notes issued in favour of Anglo, the EBS Building Society and Irish Nationwide.
In an affidavit Mr Hall, a founder member of the New Beginnings group of businesspeople and lawyers, said he has had “grave reservations about the manner and way the public finances of the country have been run. The Irish people, having never been consulted about this and, in circumstances where its representatives were bypassed, were being asked to honour a deal made in flagrant breach of the Constitution, with no democratic legitimacy and in breach of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU,” he claimed.
John Rogers SC for Mr Hall told the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, that the promissory notes were unlawful on various grounds, including that the Dáil had not specifically approved them as required by the Constitution.
Mr Rogers, who appeared with Michael Cush SC said the Government appeared to be relying on a section in the Credit Institutions Financial Support Act, but “if the section permits the Minister to make payments without a Dáil vote, we say the section is unconstitutional”.
Mr Rogers said spending was initiated by the Government bringing a “money message” to the Dáil signed by the Taoiseach, and the Constitution provided for the Dáil to be the body that voted through the process. He said the Constitution “can’t be set aside except by the people”. There was, he said “no emergency let out clause in the Constitution”.
He also said that, without specifically naming figures and seeking Dáil approval for them, the Government’s procedure on the promissory notes represented “a blank cheque” which was not provided for in the Constitution.
The Minister for Finance and the Government had been acting ultra vires and he would be seeking a declaration from the court to that effect.
He said what the Government was engaged in was interference with the primacy of the Dáil and he would be seeking a declaration that the moves were unlawful.
The defence rejects the charge that the promissory notes were unlawful and is expected to present its case to Mr Justice Kearns today.