Denis O’Brien brings case over Dáil comments on finances

Businessman initiates legal action against Oireachtas and the State

Denis O’Brien: will argue that permitting utterance about his banking arrangements to be made amounts to breach of his rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Denis O’Brien: will argue that permitting utterance about his banking arrangements to be made amounts to breach of his rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

 

Businessman Denis O’Brien has initiated a legal action against the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission and the State arising from speeches and remarks made in the Dáil related to his banking affairs.

Michael Cush SC, for the businessman, told the President of the High Court he would be seeking an early directions hearing of the latest proceedings, in which Mr O’Brien wants various declarations.

It is understood those declarations arise from various utterances made in the Dail under privilege, including utterances by Independent TD Catherine Murphy and Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty about Mr O’Brien’s arrangements with with the State-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

It is believed Mr O’Brien will argue the effect of those utterances was to decide in whole or in part the separate proceedings by himself and IBRC concerning their banking relationship and that this amounts to interference with the operation of the courts.

It is also understood he will argue that permitting the utterance to be made amounts to breach of his rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights.

In court today, Mr Cush said the proceedings are against the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, Ireland and the Attorney General and his side wants declarations in relation to matters mentioned in the context of Mr O’Brien’s other proceedings against RTÉ, brought over a planned broadcast concerning Mr O’Brien’s personal banking affairs with IBRC.

Mr Cush said he was making an inquiry whether the court would facilitate an early hearing of an application for directions concerning the hearing of latest proceedings. A statement of claim would be issued very soon, he said.

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said it was not usual to hold a directions hearing prior to the issuing of a summons and the court would list the matter for July 1st when it would hear from both sides.