Court of Appeal dismisses businessman's bid to prevent AIB shares sale

Court of Appeal dismisses businessman's bid to prevent AIB shares sale

Bu Ann O'Loughlin

A businessman's bid to prevent the sale of shares held by the Government in AIB bank has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

The action was brought by Vincent O'Donoghue against AIB Plc, the Minister for Finance, the Government, Ireland and the Attorney General.

Mr O'Donoghue with an address at Church Street, Dublin 7 had sought a declaration that the proposed sale is contrary to the common good and was contrary to Article 6 of the Constitution and is unlawful.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan in the High Court dismissed his action on grounds including it was frivolous, vexatious and bound to fail.

Mr O'Donoghue, the judge said failed to show any legal impediment requiring the State to hold on to its current level of shareholding with AIB.

The High Court also dismissed Mr O'Donoghue's application for an injunction preventing the defendants from taking any steps to dispose all or any parts of the state's shareholding in AIB pending the final outcome of his action.

Mr O'Donoghue appealed those decisions to the Court of Appeal. The State and AIB had opposed the appeal.

Today, the three-judge court comprised of the Appeal Court President Mr Justice Sean Ryan, Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan and Mr Justice Gerard Hogan unanimously dismissed Mr O'Donoghue's appeal and upheld the High Court's decision.

Giving the court's decision Mr Justice Hogan said the courts have no role to play in the State's "macro economic policies."

No cause of action had been shown against either the State or AIB, the judge added.

The appeal court also ruled that AIB and the State were entitled to an order against Mr O'Donoghue for their legal costs.

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