Denis O'Brien accuses director of corporate enforcement of leaking details

Businessman Denis O'Brien has accused Ireland's director of corporate enforcement of leaking details of his application to have inspectors appointed to Independent News and Media.

The High Court has been asked to decide whether to probe governance arrangements at the media group, which owns the Irish Independent and Belfast Telegraph, but has delayed making a decision while further legal issues are discussed.

Major INM shareholder Mr O'Brien wrote to director Ian Drennan saying the alleged leaks had damaged his reputation.

Denis O'Brien

His letter, read out in court, said: "I hold you fully and personally responsible for all such failures and breaches."

A lawyer for the director, Neil Steen SC, said: "We are reasonably satisfied that those allegations are unfounded."

There is a compelling public interest in appointing inspectors to investigate Independent News and Media data use, he told the court.

Mr Steen said there were significant concerns about use of the material by people outside the Republic's largest media group.

"The purpose of the investigation is to establish the full facts. There is compelling public interest in the matters in question being fully investigated by the court."

He said they surrounded the removal of data from INM to a third company outside the jurisdiction "resulting in INM data being interrogated".

Mr Steen added: "There remains significant concerns as to the purpose of the data interrogation, accessible by a range of individuals."

He said some of those individuals were found to have links to Mr O'Brien, the successful businessman and largest shareholder at INM.

"There is evidence to suggest that INM data may have been searched against several individuals including journalists."

It follows a data breach within the firm in 2014 involving several people including some of its own journalists.

Mr O'Brien wrote to the director of enforcement about confidential information emerging into the public domain which he said was damaging his reputation.

The decision of the director to bring the legal proceedings is due to go to judicial review next month and that will determine whether to proceed on the substantive case, judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly said.

- Press Association



Related Articles

Update: Man remanded in custody after being charged with murder of Romanian man in Tallaght

Care order granted for girl, 13, who wanted to kill herself after physical abuse by mother

Woman unfairly dismissed days after miscarriage says action was 'never about the money'

Judge rules mentally ill woman should have masectomy carried out

More in this Section

Watch: Minister of State visits North Mon's Yellow Flag diversity committee in Cork

Micheál Martin demands apology from Denis Naughten over INM call

Tourist trips to Skellig Islands hampered by bad weather

Private school in Minister's constituency 'threatened legal action' after €150,000 grant refused


Today's Stories

Driver quoted €19k for insurance gets €2k cover

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen warns on Brexit

Controversial car ban suspended until early August amid traffic warnings

Family: Brian shouldn’t have been left to die in ED

Lifestyle

New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner