Latest: Denis O'Brien 'disappointed' by rejection of legal action against State and Dáil

Latest: Denis O'Brien 'disappointed' by rejection of legal action against State and Dáil

Update 2.45pm: In a statement this afternoon, Denis O'Brien has said he is disappointed by today's judgment and intends to study it in detail before deciding whether to appeal.

However he said he was encouraged by several sections of the adjudication by Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaig.

"I am particularly encouraged by the manner in which the court acknowledged that the case raised ‘important issues as to the role of the court when the principle of comity is breached’, and the manner in which it characterised the issues raised in my case," he said.

The businessman highlighted where the judge said this case may throw light on the need for a general examination of the area of parliamentary privilege, particularly when Dail deputies are discussing matters before the courts.

"Perhaps, most importantly, I am encouraged by the fact that the court appeared to appreciate that the current operation of parliamentary privilege as found by the court, warrants a review."

Latest: Denis O'Brien 'disappointed' by rejection of legal action against State and Dáil

Update 11.20am: TDs have welcomed this morning’s High Court decision to reject a case taken by businessman Denis O’Brien about utterances made about him in the Dail, writes Daniel McConnell.

The High Court today ruled that it cannot interfere with utterances made in the Dáil concerning Denis O'Brien’s banking affairs.

Mr O'Brien asked the court to reprimand two TDs over their statements, which he said interfered with a court case he was taking against RTÉ.

Catherine Murphy
Catherine Murphy

Mr O'Brien claimed Social Democrats leader Catherine Murphy and Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman Pearse Doherty interfered with an ongoing court case, and clearly disregarded the separation of powers, when they revealed information in the Dáil about his banking affairs in 2015.

Responding to the verdict, Ms Murphy said that the court reinforced earlier case law which said the courts have no jurisdiction over matters raised in the Dail.

She said she welcomed the “robust” judgement from Judge Úna Ní Raifeartaigh.

Mr Doherty too said he welcomed the judgement from the court.

Mr O’Brien had claimed the two deputies disclosed confidential matters that he had gone to court to stop RTÉ broadcasting.

Mr O'Brien wanted the High Court to express its disapproval of what the TDs did and how the Dáil’s oversight Committee on Procedure and Privileges handled the matter.

Defending the case, as they had in the recent case involving the Public Accounts Committee and former Rehab boss Angela Kerins, lawyers for the State argued that under the Constitution, the courts cannot intervene in relation to what TDs say in the Dáil.

They had deferred her judgement until after the High Court ruled in the Kerins case.

Update 11am: Denis O’Brien has lost his legal action over statements made about his banking affairs with the IBRC on the floor of the Dáil.

The businessman claimed the statements effectively decided a case he was taking against RTÉ and therefore strayed into the work of the courts.

Deputies Catherine Murphy and Pearse Doherty argued their comments were protected by Dáil privilege and the High Court has agreed.

Mr. O'Brien was not in court for this morning’s judgement.

Earlier: Denis O’Brien is due to find out this morning whether his legal action against a Dáil Committee and the State has been successful.

The businessman claims statements made in the Dáil about his banking affairs with the IBRC breached his rights and strayed into the court’s domain.

When Deputies Catherine Murphy and Pearse Doherty made the remarks in 2015, Denis O’Brien was trying to stop RTÉ from broadcasting the information.

Latest: Denis O'Brien 'disappointed' by rejection of legal action against State and Dáil

By revealing the details in the Dáil, he claims the outcome of the injunction proceedings was effectively decided in a way that breached his rights and the constitutional separation of powers between the Oireachtas and the courts.

He wants certain declarations including one to say they’re guilty of an unwarranted interference.

Lawyers for the defendants argued the statements were protected by privilege and contended the courts have no jurisdiction to intervene – a point since enforced in a separate action taken by former Rehab CEO Angela Kerins against the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee.

More in this Section

Teens to be surveyed on suicide issues at supports showcase in Cork’s City HallTeens to be surveyed on suicide issues at supports showcase in Cork’s City Hall

Doughnut store makes a lot of dough — €42k a dayDoughnut store makes a lot of dough — €42k a day

'Available Places' scheme for students who didn't accept CAO offer today opened'Available Places' scheme for students who didn't accept CAO offer today opened

McHugh tells schools to offer special placesMcHugh tells schools to offer special places


Lifestyle

These green pancakes are topped with avocado, tomato and cottage cheese.How to make Jamie Oliver’s super spinach pancakes

Who else can pull off a look described as a ‘hip-hop Michelin woman’?As her new EP drops, this is why there will never be a style icon quite like Missy Elliott

The classic white-tipped look is once again in favour, and celebs are loving it.The French manicure is back – 5 modern ways to try the trend

The A-Listers hiding in plain sight: As Rihanna is spotted at the cricket, who are the celebs who have been living under our noses in Ireland? Ed Power reports.Celebs in plain sight: The A-Listers living under our noses in Ireland

More From The Irish Examiner