Date set for Denis O’Brien application to join Persona case as defendant

Application will be heard in the High Court on October 9th

Denis O’Brien: bid to be joined to Persona case to be heard next month

Denis O’Brien: bid to be joined to Persona case to be heard next month


An application by billionaire businessman Denis O’Brien to be added as a defendant to a multimillion euro legal action against the State will be heard in the High Court on October 9th.

Persona, the consortium that finished second to Mr O’Brien’s Esat Digifone in the competition for the State’s second mobile phone licence in 1996, is suing the State, alleging the licence was awarded as a result of deceit and dishonesty.

Mr O’Brien has already stated he wants to be joined as a defendant so that he can defend the case alongside the State which, in separate proceedings, is seeking to have Mr O’Brien and Michael Lowry made liable for damages that might arise from Persona’s case.

Mr Lowry was Minister for Communications in the coalition government at the time.

Persona’s directors are businessman Tony Boyle and Michael McGinley, father of professional golfer and Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley.

Businessman Declan Ganley, whose organisation Comcast finished sixth in the same licensing competition, is also taking a case against the State.

The State has already failed in a bid to have both cases struck out because of the time lapse since the competition. The Supreme Court ruled last year that allegations of corruption against a former government minister were too serious to be struck out on a technicality and should be fully addressed.

Two years ago the Moriarty tribunal report stated that Mr Lowry had interfered in the licensing process to the benefit of Esat and that Mr O’Brien had sought to convey a material benefit on Mr Lowry. Evidence noted by the tribunal cannot be used in the High Court proceedings.

The High Court was told today it would take most of a day to hear Mr O’Brien’s application to be joined as a defendant and allotted October 9th for the hearing.