Court to rule next week on scope of McKillen appeal


THE COMMERCIAL Court will rule on Monday on issues related to the scope of the appeal being taken to the Supreme Court by property investor Paddy McKillen against the rejection of his legal bid to prevent transfer of some €2.1 billion of his loans to the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, Mr Justice Peter Kelly and Mr Justice Frank Clarke yesterday heard arguments on behalf of Mr McKillen and Nama as to what issues may be raised in the appeal and reserved to Monday their decision. It is then expected the sides will ask the Supreme Court for an early appeal hearing.

The judge also yesterday awarded costs, which could be up to €2 million, to Nama against Mr McKillen, who did not resist the costs application.

As Mr McKillen’s case involved a challenge to the constitutionality of provisions of the Nama Act 2009, he may appeal the constitutional issue to the Supreme Court.

However, he must get permission from the court to appeal on any other grounds and these grounds must be of exceptional public importance. The State is arguing that the appeal should be limited to the validity of the legislation under the Constitution.

In arguments, Michael Cush SC for Mr McKillen, said his side believed, where there is an appeal on a constitutional issue, every point in the case may be ventilated before the Supreme Court, but the State took a different view.

Dismissing Mr McKillen’s case last Monday, three judges ruled Mr McKillen had failed to make out a case entitling him to prevent the loans acquisition and also dismissed his challenge to the constitutionality of the Act.