Tag Archives: Denis O’Brien

Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy speaking about the sale of Siteserv in the Dáil on May 6, 2015


In the Sunday Business Post.

Tom Lyons reported that the Commission of Investigation tasked with investigating the sale of Siteserv to Denis O’Brien, and other matters – which is being led by High Court judge Brian Cregan – has told Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy that if she doesn’t reveal her sources, “it may not be possible to advance some of the issues raised” by her.

Mr Lyons reported:

The Commission wrote to Murphy earlier this month in relation to her 300-page witness statement, much of which it said appeared to be “dependent upon information and views supplied to you by unidentified persons”.

It said that the allegations in her statement and accompanying documentation appear to be based on confidential banking information about named individuals that “may have serious implications for the good name and reputation of the person or persons mentioned.”

The Commission said it was “of the view that, if such allegations, information and views are to be admitted into evidence, it will be necessary in the interests of fair procedures, and in order to protect the constitutional and person rights of the persons named, that the identity of the sources of such information and views should, in the first instance, be disclosed to the Commission.”

It said it would then consider whether such allegations, information and views should be admitted into evidence, and whether the identity of the source should be disclosed to witnesses or potential witnesses “bearing in mind the right of a witness to confront his or her accuser, where serious allegations are made against him or her.”

The Commission requested Murphy disclose the source or sources of 23 allegations made in her 300-page witness statement to the Commission as well as furnish it with six emails without redacting the name of their sender.

These allegations relate to O’Brien, Brian Harvey, the then chief executive of Siteserv, Mike Aynsley, the chief executive of IBRC and Richard Woodhouse, a senior executive of IBRC, among others.

…“The Commission is appreciative of the assistance you have provided it to date,” it said. “However, if and to the extent that sources are not disclosed and / or unredacted documents are not made available to the Commission, whether based on a claim of parliamentary privilege or otherwise, it may not be possible to advance some of the issues raised by you.”


On Kildare FM, Ms Murphy said:

“Yes, I received a letter from Justice Brian Cregan during the week, I think it was Wednesday. I will be taken, and have taken and will take further advice before responding in detail. Essentially, I’ve given a commitment to people who came to me with information that that would be treated in confidence. I gave them absolute assurance that that would be the case and I’ll respect that. I feel duty-bound to respect that.”

Siteserv sale probe: Murphy told she may have to reveal sources (Sunday Business Post)

North Kildare TD Catherine Murphy Intends To Stand By Siteserv Sources (Kildare FM)

Previously: [REDACTED]’s 1.25% Interest Rate

Bringing The House Down

Denis O’Brien

Colm Keena, in The Irish Times, reports:

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.

There you go now.

Previously: It’s Been A Privilege

[REDACTED]’s 1.25% Interest Rate

Denis O’Brien to appeal court ruling over Dáil comments (Colm Keena, The Irish Times)


Businessman Denis O’Brien

RTÉ reports:

The High Court has ruled that businessman Denis O’Brien should pay all the costs of his failed action over statements made by two TDs in the Dáil about his banking affairs.

Mr O’Brien took his case against the Clerk of the Dáil and the State over comments made by Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy and Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty in the Dáil in 2015.

He wanted the court to reprimand the TDs and he claimed they had interfered with a court case he was taking against RTÉ.

…This morning, the judge [Ms Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaigh] ruled that the facts of the case were unusual and had some degree of novelty as well as being of some public importance.

…But she ruled there was “an insufficient degree of novelty” to cause her to depart from the normal rule where the losing party pays the costs of a case.

Denis O’Brien must pay High Court costs (RTE)

Previously: It’s Been A Privilege

[REDACTED]’s 1.25% Interest Rate



[Legal advice to the Oireachtas committee on funding of water] recommends that “levies” and not penalties be imposed on those who use excessive amounts.

The legal advice suggests that excessive usage should be set at 1.7 times the average household usage.

However, it later states that average usage would be decided on household size and also in line with average consumption, which is 133 litres per person, which Fianna Fáil has been proposing.

The advice proposes one further significant change: that it is mandatory for new builds to have meters, which was removed from the draft report last week.

Good times.

Legal advice goes against proposed water report changes (RTÉ)


Martin McMahon writes:

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.

Martin blogs at RamshornRepublic



In case you missed it.

Filmmaker Terry McMahon’s address to the Right2Water rally in Dublin last Saturday.

Stirring, in fairness.


This morning…


More as we get it.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 11.47.13

Denis O’Brien

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.

Denis O’Brien loses High Court action over bank affairs (Irish Times)

Previously: REDACTED’s 1,25 per cent Interest Rate



G’wan Catherine.



Tom Lyons tweetz:

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.

John J May

Reaction to the Moriarty Tribunal (Irish Times letters page, March 25, 2011)


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.

Call for Michael Lowry to step aside from INM hearings (Irish Examiner)

Previously: Zero Sum Game

#Moriarty: A Phone Book. In More Ways Than One



Denis O’Brien

It’s been a tough year for many people.

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…

Denis O’Brien’s Digicel turns to consultants to help slash costs, debt (Irish Times)



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.



Mark Tighe tweetz:

Par 34 of High Court ruling in Denis O’Brien vs Red Flag says O’Brien needed to provide more evidence about how he got USB stick.

Denis O’Brien fails to get orders identifying Red Flag’s client for dossier (The Irish Times)

Previously: They All Have It Infamy

Flag Of Inconvenience



From top: Denis O’Brien, Noel Rock.

In yesterday’s Sunday Business Post.

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.”


Noel Rock: Why the INM pension scandal should concern and anger us all (Sunday Business Post)