O’Brien fails to win disclosure order against Red Flag

Denis O’Brien has failed to get court orders directing Red Flag Consulting to discover documents which would disclose the identity of its client for a dossier of material about the businessman.

These and other documents were sought by Mr O’Brien’s lawyers in preparation for the full hearing of his case against Red Flag and various executives and staff over the dossier which, he alleges, is mostly unfavourable to him and defamatory.

Red Flag denies defamation or conspiracy. It said there are significant issues concerning how Mr O’Brien got that material and argued it was entitled to preserve its client’s anonymity.

Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh said Mr O’Brien had failed to show why knowing the client’s identity was relevant and necessary for his case and, as a matter of probability, would advance his plea Red Flag’s “predominant motive” in compiling the dossier was to harm him.

There were “too many imponderable and unknown” outcomes in the theory of relevance advanced, he said.

Mr O’Brien was entitled to documents relating to communications between Red Flag and its client concerning the dossier, with the client’s name redacted, the judge ruled.

Red Flag agreed to discover documents concerning its retainer by the client, the court heard.

The case was adjourned to next month.


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