Businessman opposes minister’s spending power

Businessman David Hall is concerned that the finance minister continues to have “unlimited powers” to spend public monies in support of financial institutions “without any reference to the Dáil”, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.

That is one of the reasons he wants an urgent hearing of his appeal against the High Court’s decision he does not have legal standing to challenge the promissory note payments, under which €31bn has been paid out to date, said Ross Maguire SC.

A further payment of €25m was due in June and that was another reason the matter was urgent, counsel told the Supreme Court.

Mr Maguire applied yesterday for a priority hearing of the appeal but his application was resisted by Michael McDowell SC, for the State. The matter was not urgent on grounds including that, since Mr Hall’s case was initiated, the “really major” financial commitments had become long-term bonds, Mr McDowell said.

The Chief Justice, Ms Justice Susan Denham, said the Supreme Court’s list was “heavily burdened” and she would not grant the matter priority “at this point”, but would try and give it a hearing date in the next law term, beginning after Easter. She also made directions for exchange of legal documents in the case.


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