McKillen appeal next month

THE Supreme Court appeal by property investor Paddy McKillen aimed at preventing the transfer of some €2.1 billion in loans to the National Assets Management Agency will be heard before December 21, it was confirmed yesterday.

The Chief Justice, Mr Justice John Murray, told lawyers for Mr McKillen and NAMA yesterday the appeal would be heard before the end of this law term – December 21 – and “perhaps significantly before then”. Mr Justice Murray added he could not say if the court’s judgment would be delivered by December 21.

Earlier, Maurice Collins SC, for NAMA and the state, said his side regarded the case as of “extreme urgency” and were prepared to continue a stay restraining transfer of the loans to NAMA if the appeal was heard this term.

Counsel noted the High Court had certified one issue for determination in the appeal in addition to the constitutional issue raised by Mr McKillen. However, his side, in the interests of securing a speedy appeal, would not seek to make points as to the breadth of the appeal, Mr Collins added.

Michael Cush SC, for Mr McKillen, said his side believed the relevant issues were those identified in the High Court judgment on McKillen’s case.

He added the books of appeal were practically complete and would be lodged within seven days.

Mr Collins said his side would respond with their submissions and appeal documents within a further seven days.

The Chief Justice said the appeal would be given priority and would be heard this term but it was difficult to fix a date until all the appeal documents were lodged.

He said it would take a lot of work to go through all the documents involved and the Supreme Court was the only court in the EU without the resources to assist it in such work.

The Chief Justice said he would list the matter for mention again next Thursday when it may be possible to fix a hearing date for the appeal.

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