High Court appoints barrister to help review Delaney emails

The court ruled on Monday that just one more person should be allocated to the task

Barrister Patrick Mair is to be appointed to help with the review of the roughly 3,800 emails over which John Delaney is claiming privilege in the case related to the investigation by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) into events at the FAI during its former chief executive's 15 years at the association.

The name was agreed upon by representatives of the ODCE, Delaney and the FAI after the High Court ruled on Monday that just one more person should be allocated to the task.

Back in the High Court on Wednesday morning, Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds said that she would make an order in line with the agreement. Mair is a Dublin based commercial law specialist who has worked in the area for more than a decade.

He will work with, but independently of, Niall Nolan, who was appointed to the process last November but who subsequently suggested that a second person be appointed in order to speed the process up.

In recent weeks, the ODCE had suggested that the provision of an additional five people would dramatically shorten the time scale involved but on Tuesday Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds found that one additional person was more appropriate in the circumstances.

Kerida Naidoo, for the ODCE, expressed the hope in court on Wednesday that the entire process could be concluded by the end of the current legal year (July 31st). The documents were seized from the FAI last February and the matter first came before the courts shortly afterwards as Delaney sought to prevent the ODCE being able to use a substantial number of the emails involved in the course of its investigation.

The case is due to be back before the court on March 23rd when, amongst other things, an application by Delaney to have a portion of the proceedings held in camera so as to prevent the contents of the documents becoming public will be heard. That move is being opposed by The Sunday Times supported by The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner and a number of other media organisations.