Businessman Denis O’Brien has lodged an appeal in the case he took against the Dáil, the Dáil Committee on Procedures and Privileges and the State over comments made in the parliament about his financial affairs.
…Papers lodged with the courts indicate he is taking his case to the Court of Appeal. However, it is understood he will also seek to have his case go directly to the Supreme Court on the basis that it involves important constitutional issues.
As part of his appeal he will be seeking to overturn the High Court’s ruling that he pay the legal costs of the seven-day hearing.
Anybody who is blessed with an older sibling has, at some time in their childhood, heard the “Mammy Says” half instruction half plea for you to do as your older sibling wants.
It’s a childhood thing, a tactic of coercion, a ‘you must do as I tell you because an authority figure agrees with me that you should’ power play.
Ultimately, it’s a sign of weakness, proof that the bossy older sibling has lost control.
This is exactly where Fine Gael are at in the Water Commission. Like overindulged toddlers in true blue babygrows, Fine Gael are throwing the rattle, the soother and the blankets out of the water charge pram.
They clutch to partisan EU opinions and legal advice as though they were handed down on Mount Sinai. They tell us that the Attorney General is infallible on water charges even as former Justice Minister Shatter calls for her head on foot of the Fennelly Commission report.
Fine Gael’s lack of humility, their ‘sore loser’ foot stamping, is an ignominious spectacle we are all forced to endure.
They lost the water charge argument at the last election, even the party faithful want it off the table as an issue. There are far more pressing problems piling up to be addressed.
Stop playing the spoiled brat Fine Gael, you lost, move on, LET IT GO.
Ms Justice Una Ni Raifeartaigh dismissed the businessman’s action against the Clerk of the Dáil and the State after upholding the respondents core argument – the Constitution prohibits the courts intervening over “utterances” in either House of the Oireachtas.
Article 15.13 of the Constitution states members of the Oireachtas are not amenable to any court or authority other than the Houses themselves for “utterances” in the Houses.
So this has arrived. A new book on the Moriarty Tribunal and Denis O’Brien. Looks like something else. A steal at €50…
From The Irish Times letters page on March 25, 2011 – three days after the publication of the Moriarty Tribunal.
The media frenzy and what it is generating reminds me of the movie Twelve Angry Men and the book To Kill a Mockingbird. The political and media piranhas have smelled their victims’ blood and in the low moral ground where they play out their pretensions, the actors in this dreary drama are set to play their pretentious parts!
At stake is one of life’s most important psychological and emotional conditions: reputations.
In Twelve Angry Men, the so-called “evidence” was hearsay, innuendo and prejudicial malicious gossip. It took one man’s love of justice to convince his biased peers of the accuseds’ innocence.
After the tribunal’s 14 years of forensic foraging and a bill of approximately €250,000,000, Denis O’Brien has admirably stated his constitutional right under Article 40 to a good name.
We shall soon all witness how much as a nation we love justice or gossip! Having lived here most of my life I won’t hold my breath.
Then Fine Gael Communications Minister Michael Lowry and Denis O’Brien in 1997
Elaine Loughlin, in The Irish Examiner, reports:
The National Union of Journalists have written to the Committee on Communications, Climate Change and Environment asking that Mr Lowry “recuse himself” from all discussions around the acquisition of the Celtic Media Group of local newspapers by Independent News and Media.
The committee met in private yesterday to discuss this letter, but they were told that they do not have the power to ask him to step aside.
…Committee members received legal advice during the meeting and were told that Mr Lowry cannot be asked to excuse himself.
It is understood TDs and senators were told while Mr Lowry could recuse himself if he believed there was a conflict of interest, members do not have the power to demand or even ask he step aside during the hearings.
But please think of those suffering at this time in the Third World.
Digicel’s €6.2 billion debt is at “unsustainably high levels” at 6.2 times earnings at the group, Michael Chakardjian, an analyst with US credit research firm CreditSights, said at a conference in London this week.
He also said that the company’s cost-cutting plan was ambitious and opaque and that the company faces “near-term refinancing risks”.
Digicel said on Friday that it “fundamentally disagrees with the conclusions”, and has a positive outlook.
…The Bermuda-based company, which operates in 32 markets in the Caribbean and South Pacific regions, is in the middle of a third year of earnings decline, with its latest quarterly figures, to the end of September, hit particularly by currency weakness in several of its markets against the dollar…
Red Flag offices on Ely Place, Dublin 2; Denis O’Brien; Karl Brophy, of Red Flag
You may recall Denis O’Brien’s action against communications company Red Flag Consultancy – claiming the group was involved in a conspiracy against him.
Further to this…
The Irish Times reports:
Denis O’Brien has failed to get court orders directing Red Flag Consulting to disclose documents that would reveal the identity of its client for a dossier of material about the businessman.
…The dossier, which Mr O’Brien said arrived at his Dublin offices in October 2015 on a USB memory stick contained in an unstamped envelope, includes some 80 media reports and other material, including a document entitled: “Who is Denis O’Brien?” and “The Moriarty Tribunal Explainer”.
…However, 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. Such documents were likely to reveal the nature of the relationship between Red Flag and its client and were relevant because Red Flag’s motivation in preparing the dossier was an issue.
Fine Gael TD Noel Rock wrote a column about Independent News and Media (INM) and its pension cuts – some of which will amount to 70% – describing the company’s moves as “appalling”.
He also referred to the pockets of INM’s biggest shareholder, Denis O’Brien, without naming him.
Mr Rock wrote:
“… But what shifts it from appalling to repugnant is that INM is a massively profitable company, in large part because workers agreed to write down the value of their pensions by 40 per cent in 2013.
“INM announced some months ago that it made a profit of €37 million in 2015. It will have a Euromillions Jackpot figure of €87 million in pure cash burning a hole in its corporate pockets by the end of this month.
“…Sadly, and wrongly, this is not illegal in Ireland. It is in Britain.
“…While Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar is investigating the possibility of intervening in the forthcoming High Court hearing on the capital restructuring of INM and asking the court to consider appropriateness of capital restructuring when it’s closing this pension scheme, it’s certainly worth asking if a “wait and see” approach is good enough, or whether we need to directly intervene.
“…[INM shareholders] also benefited when banks, including the state-owned AIB as well as Bank of Ireland, wrote off almost €140 million in INM debt. These are banks that we bailed out.
“So every single person in Ireland was involved in the indirect bailout of INM. We wrote off their debts, and they crushed their own pensioners to the tune of two-fifths of their entitlement.
“We didn’t take that hit as a society so that, three years later, the company would come back, throw its pensioners under a proverbial bus, and suck all the money out of the company for the shareholders we, effectively, did a deal with.
“Nor did we do it so that the company could use the cash it is taking off pensioners and transfer it directly into the pockets of its largest shareholder, by buying Newstalk or any other asset he happens to have.”
From top: Denis O’Brien leaving the High Court after giving evidence last week; an excerpt of Mr O’Brien’s witness statement given to the court
Mary Carolan, in The Irish Times, reports:
Businessman Denis O’Brien’s action over statements made by two TDs in the Dáil about his banking affairs has concluded at the High Court with judgment reserved.
Ms Justice Una Ní Raifeartaigh reserved judgment until the new year and said she would not finalise her decision until the High Court rules on the separate case of former Rehab chief executive Angela Kerins. That case raises some similar issues and judgment was reserved on it last October.