Case raises key issues for journalists, court hears
ANY ORDER requiring a reporter and a director of a charitable organisation to give evidence as part of a multimillion dollar lawsuit in the US involving businessman Tony Quinn raises serious and significant issues as to how journalistic sources are protected, the High Court heard yesterday.
Senior counsel Brian O’Moore, for Sunday World journalist Nicola Tallant, who is resisting any order compelling her to give evidence on the grounds of journalistic privilege, said the case raised many “deepwater issues” not just for his client but for all journalists.
Both Ms Tallant and Mike Garde, a director of Dialogue Ireland, an ecumenical group whose role included working with the victims of cults, are opposed to the High Court making any order requiring them to give evidence in October as part of court proceedings in Denver, Colorado. Both have written about Mr Quinn and his affairs.
The US action arises from the sale of shares in International Natural Energy (INE) LLC, the holding company of a firm involved in oil exploration in Central America.
Tony Quinn is a shareholder of the company.
Mr Moore’s comments to the court came in response to submissions made by senior counsel Jim O’Callaghan, who is acting for the US parties seeking to have both Ms Tallant and Mr Garde examined.