D2 and Foley told to pay costs of challenge

D2 Private and its owner, Deirdre Foley, must pay the legal costs of their failed challenge against the powers of inspectors conducting an investigation into the collective redundancies at Clerys, the High Court has ruled.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey last month dismissed the action, clearing the way for the inspector’s investigation to continue. The case was heard over five days in the High Court and the legal costs run to an estimated six figures.

In his judgment last month, Mr Justice Twomey said he did not see “any basis” for interfering with the probe or for making orders directing a laptop and documents seized from the D2 offices at Harcourt Terrace last May be returned.

Investment company D2 Private Ltd and Ms Foley had disputed the powers of the inspectors to search the D2 offices and take the materials. 

The inspectors were appointed by the Workplace Relations Commission after 460 workers at Clerys, 130 directly employed staff and 330 indirectly employed in the store, were made redundant on June 12, 2015.

The job losses came hours after Clerys was sold to Natrium — a joint venture comprising Cheyne Capital Management and D2.

In High Court proceedings against the WRC and inspectors, Ms Foley and D2 argued there was no entitlement to enter the office and take the materials. 

They said they were never the employer of the Clerys workers and the seizure of “privileged and confidential information” from their offices was “wholly unlawful”. 

The WRC and inspectors argued the decision to enter D2’s offices was a legitimate one made in the public interest.


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