Court to hear Denis O’Brien application in Red Flag case in July

Businessman alleges conspiracy and defamation by firm and some of its staff

Denis O’Brien. File Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Denis O’Brien. File Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

 

The High Court will hear in July businessman Denis O’Brien’s application to compel Red Flag Consulting disclose certain information in advance of his action against the firm.

Mr O’Brien is suing Red Flag alleging conspiracy and defamation against it and some of its executives and employees.

He claims a USB computer stick sent anonymously to his Dublin office contained a dossier of defamatory material, mainly comprising media stories about the businessman.

The case has been before the court on a number of occasions including one in which Mr O’Brien got an order directing the USB stick be handed over to his solicitors and held without interference pending further orders.

He did not proceed with an application for an order allowing his lawyers to inspect material from computers and other devices of Red Flag and its staff which remains frozen pending further order.

When the case returned on Tuesday for mention before Mr Justice Colm MacEoichaidh, Michael Cush SC, for Mr O’Brien, said in advance of the full hearing his client wanted the court to hear as soon as possible his application for orders for discovery against the defendants.

He also wanted the court to decide whether there should be a stay, pending appeal, on the costs of Mr O’Brien’s application to inspect Red Flag devices which did not go ahead.

Mr Cush sought a date to hear both the discovery and stay matters before the end of July.

Maurice Collins, for Red Flag, opposed the stay on costs sought. He said the order should reflect the fact a significant number of reliefs were sought against his client which were dropped last December although these were now being pursued separately.

Mr Justice MacEoichaidh said it was previously accepted there was nothing urgent about this litigation.

He believed litigation efficiency would be achieved if he, rather than another judge, heard the matter and he could do so before the end of July. It would be better he heard it sooner rather than later and he would hear the pre-trial matters on July 12th, he said.

The court also heard the O’Brien side has made an application for third party discovery against the internet file hosting service Dropbox in relation to material in the account of a Red Flag employee.