Legal bid to halt €30bn payment to Anglo

A businessman has gone to court in a bid to stop the State paying out €30bn worth of promissory notes to Anglo Irish Bank and two other financial institutions.

David Hall, a key member of the New Beginning group, has brought the legal challenge to declare the promissory notes void. The group is not involved in the challenge.

Mr Hall, of College Grove, Castleknock, Dublin 15, has claimed in the High Court action that the Government’s decision to issue €30bn worth of promissory notes to financial institutions Anglo Irish Bank, EBS, and Irish Nationwide Building Society is unlawful.

The decision to issue the notes, he claims, was never approved by the Dáil. He also claims that the provisions of two acts which allowed the Government to issue the notes are unconstitutional.

Mr Hall’s proceedings against the finance minister, the attorney general, the Central Bank, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation and the EBS arise out of a 2010 decision to provide €30bn to the institutions in the form of promissory notes, which are to be repaid with interest over a period of 15 years.

He claims the Dáil was never consulted or had the right to vote or express an opinion on what he says was a huge promise.

The Irish people, he also claims, are being asked to honour a deal made in flagrant breach of the Constitution, has no democratic legitimacy and is in breach of the treaty for the functioning of the EU.

Mr Hall said that “for some time he has had grave reservations about the manner and way the public finances of the country have been run”.

John Rogers, counsel for Mr Hall, yesterday said his client is seeking a number of declarations from the court including that provisions of section 6 of the Credit (Financial Support) Institutions Act and Section 34 of the Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Act 2009 are repugnant to the Constitution and are unlawful.

Mr Hall further claims the provisions of the acts constitute a circumvention of the primacy of Dáil Éireann in respect of state finances and constitute an unwarranted and unlawful attack on the Constitution.

Mr Justice Michael Peart granted Mr Hall’s lawyers permission to serve the respondents with notice of the proceedings. It will come before the courts again tomorrow.

Mr Hall is also seeking declarations that the making of promissory notes in 2010 by the finance minister in favour of Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Nationwide Building Society, and the EBS, constituted an appropriation of public monies without the authorisation of the Dáil, which is unlawful.

He is further seeking declarations that the provision of credit facilities to the said institutions and their heirs is and was unlawful and are in breach of the EU law.

Mr Hall also submits that letters of comfort by the Minister for Finance in 2010 to the Central Bank in relation to the provision of credit facilities for Anglo, EBS, and Irish Nationwide are of no effect and void.

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