'Sensitive' files should be excluded, says widow


THE WIDOW of deceased property developer Liam Maye is challenging the inclusion of “highly sensitive” financial information in documents submitted as part of legal proceedings against her in the High Court.

Anne Maye, Weavers Hall, Plunkett Avenue, Westminster Road, Dublin 18, faces legal action by a former business associate of her husband’s in her capacity as personal representative of his estate.

Mr Maye, whose company built the Dundrum Town Centre, died in May 2008.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly was told yesterday by counsel for Bernard Costello, who was involved in various ventures with Mr Maye, the documents in dispute include material from Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS), showing sufficient capital was available to pay certain debts which remained unpaid.

Mr Justice Kelly rejected an application by Rossa Fanning, for Ms Maye, to have a pre-trial hearing concerning the admissibility of the information contained in witness statements submitted on behalf of Mr Costello for his legal action, scheduled for hearing next month.

In his action, Mr Costello is seeking orders requiring Ms Maye to honour an alleged agreement with Mr Maye to give Mr Costello an indemnity relating to loans of some €400 million.

Mr Fanning said witness statements for Mr Costello had been submitted on May 28th last and his side took exception to their content and queried how certain sensitive financial information about his client was in those statements.

Counsel said it transpired Mr Costello, on the basis of Freedom of Information requests, had received a lot of information about his client from financial institutions. That was a breach of Ms Maye’s rights to confidentiality and under the Data Protection Acts, counsel argued.

This was “highly sensitive” information that should not be in evidence, he said. Following correspondence, he had been instructed to apply to the court for liberty to bring a motion for an order compelling Mr Costello to deliver witness statements without this material. Edward Farrelly, for Mr Costello, argued the material was relevant and admissible.

The material related to accounts with Anglo Irish Bank and the INBS on foot of which Mr Costello has a liability as he had not been released from that liability, counsel said. The material showed excess funding was available and there was sufficient capital to pay debts but these had not been paid. His side was very anxious the trial date for the case should not be pushed out, counsel added.

Refusing leave to Mr Fanning to bring a motion aimed at having the material taken out of the statements, Mr Justice Kelly said the issue of admissibility of the material was for the trial judge to decide and the action would go ahead on November 9th.

The judge directed witness statements on behalf of Ms Maye must be filed by October 26th and legal submissions should be exchanged after that.

In his proceedings, Mr Costello, Greenfield Road, Mount Merrion, Dublin, alleges the sides agreed in August 2008 he would transfer his interest in certain assets and properties in return for a payment of €2 million to him, plus the assumption by the estate of various liabilities.

He said the assets included corporate shareholdings and properties in Ireland, the US and Europe while the liabilities included certain bank loans. Pending finalisation of the agreement, he claims it was agreed the estate would indemnify him relating to loans of some €400 million.