Bank seeks to halt action

An application by the Central Bank to halt legal actions brought by businessman Jerry Beades against it, the European Central Bank, several European financial institutions and others, will be heard later this year.

The Central Bank of Ireland and its governor Philip Lane, want the proceedings struck out as disclosing no reasonable cause of action and/or as frivolous and vexatious. 

Various other defendants, including the head of the ECB and governors of various central banks in the eurozone, say they cannot be sued in the Irish courts, the Commercial Court heard.

Mr Beades, representing himself, strongly opposed an application yesterday by Paul Gallagher, counsel for the bank, to have the two cases transferred into the fast-track Commercial Court list. 

Mr Gallagher said the defendants did not want the proceedings “hanging over” them and urged the court to transfer the case and hear, as soon as possible, the application to have the cases halted.

Mr Beades, who repeatedly and often angrily objected to how Mr Justice Brian McGovern was dealing with the application, argued this was a “citizen’s case” and he should not, as a citizen, be subject to fast-track procedures. 

He did not have resources equivalent to Arthur Cox, the law firm representing the Central Bank, he said.

The judge told Mr Beades there was no unfairness in how the matter was being addressed and asked him a number of times to calm down and stop shouting.

Mr Gallagher described Mr Beades’ conduct as “outrageous”.

Having heard both sides over some 90 minutes during the busy Commercial Court list, the judge said he was satisfied the matter should be fast-tracked in circumstances including it affected European financial institutions and Mr Beades had himself agreed it raised public law issues and concerned administrative decisions. 

The judge made various directions for exchange of legal documents and fixed October 25 to hear the application to have the proceedings dismissed.

Mr Beades’ proceedings concern alleged failures of the defendants to safeguard financial stability, particularly alleged failure to act on alleged over-exposure of credit institutions to, and reliance on, oil prices and assets. 

Among his claims, he alleges the defendants are seeking to disguise alleged over exposure to the oil industry through “wholesale removal of such assets by undervalued sales”.

Mr Gallagher said the claims are rejected.


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