Tag Archives: Denis O’Brien

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At the Balla Bán Art Gallery in the Westbury Mall Dublin.

It comes as [REDACTED] is taking legal action against members of the Committee on Procedures and Privilege, the Oireachtas and the State.

The CPP rejected Mr O’Brien’s claims that Independent TD Catherine Murphy abused Dáil privilege when she made claims about Mr O’Brien and  Anglo Irish Bank in the Dáil in May.

(The painting is by the late artist Denis O’Brien, father of established Dublin artist Senan O’Brien)

Minister defends TDs subjected to Denis O’Brien’s legal action (Irish Examiner)

Thanks Frank O’Dea


He said Mr [Sean] FitzPatrick referred to the name “Denis O’Brien” and referred to him as “my mate, Denis”.

Mr Gillespie told the court he was able to reassure Mr FitzPatrick as he did not believe then and he does not believe for a second that the name had anything to do with the Denis O’Brien most people have in their minds.

He said it was a common enough name and this was a different individual who had an address in the UK.

Mr Gillespie said he recalled that Mr FitzPatrick described him as “a bit naive”.

Not to be confused with Vladimir Savčić.

Trial hears FitzPatrick was concerned about ‘mate’s name on list for Revenue (RTÉ)



Communications Minister Alex White


From the Irish Times letters page…

“I don’t understand why Minister for Communications Alex White is so averse to legislation to clean up past media ownership deals that are strangling freedom of speech (“McDowell ‘chancing his arm’, says Minister”). In the past Mr White has vigorously defended openness. But he is guardian of an industry where Denis O’Brien has been allowed a controlling interest in media from Antrim to Kerry, in print and on the airwaves.”

“Diversity is obviously necessary in media ownership. But both the Competition Authority and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland have been remiss in protecting the public interest on this issue. Why? It seems to me that corporate power speaks loudest in the ears of each of these bodies.”

Mr White believes “constitutional property rights” prevent retrospective legislation. But the nursing home charges in 2004 were installed under a retrospective law. Neither the Supreme Court nor his own Government have done anything to reverse that situation. The constitution forbids retrospective criminal legislation, but is silent on such retrospective civil legislation as this.”

“Sadly I fear Mr White gets to the heart of the issue when he also cites “labyrinthine commercial issues”. It’s my guess that, at the heart of that labyrinth is a Denis O’Brien, still awaiting his Theseus.
Dublin 7.”

Diversity of media ownership (Irish Times)


Kevin O’Sullivan at Dublin City University this afternoon

This is fairly delusional, in fairness.

Irish Times editor Kevin O’Sullivan defends his paper’s recent brouhaha with Denis O’Brien at the ‘Future of Journalism’ conference at Dublin City University this afternoon.

No, we weren’t invited.


Denis O’Brien

In court today, Mr Cush said the proceedings are against the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, Ireland and the Attorney General and his side wants declarations in relation to matters mentioned in the context of Mr [Denis] O’Brien’s other proceedings against RTÉ, brought over a planned broadcast concerning Mr O’Brien’s personal banking affairs with IBRC.

It is also understood he will argue that permitting the utterance to be made amounts to breach of his rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights.

Denis O’Brien begins legal action against Houses of the Oireachtas Commission and State (Independent.ie)

Denis O’Brien brings case over Dáil comments about banking affairs (Irish Times)



Denis O’Brien and his often tangled web of influence.

In interactive form [see link below]

Come into his parlour.

Pat writes:

Irish Water, Denis O’Brien, Siteserv, GMC. Find it all here illustrated. You can Zoom in and out, click on the elements and discover more content in their description. Each connection (as much as possible ) contains information on the nature of the link to the element it is connected to. For any query please reach out on twitter to @beyourownreason

A Tangled Web: Irish Water, Denis O’Brien and Siteserv (BeYourOwnReason)


Stephen Rae (top) Group editor Of Independent Newspapers; Former editor of the Sunday Independent Anne Harris (below).

“One evening in November 2012 – a Monday, my day off – I was summoned to an “off-site” meeting. I had misgivings about attending. The previous Saturday, at edition time, there had been an attempt to pull a story about a statement issued by Transparency International Ireland, which had complained to a UN special rapporteur about O’Brien’s serial litigations against journalists.

“Accordingly, on alert, I asked if I should have somebody with me. No need, I was assured. The meeting was attended by two men, one of whom was a senior INM executive. Things were bad with the company, he said.

Certain “temporary measures” were necessary. Then we got to the core problem: O’Brien, the majority shareholder, was not to be written about in certain ways. Then he issued a specific directive: any reference to O’Brien was not to be handled by me, but was to be referred to the managing editor. When I pointed out that this was censorship, I was informed it was “sensitivity”. I later asked for the directive in writing, but was refused.

“I did get a series of emails which confirmed the directive but tried to revise what had transpired at the meeting. One ridiculously stipulated the stricture was to cover references to “all” INM shareholders (there are thousands); another said it applied to coverage of the three largest shareholders, O’Brien, Dermot Desmond and Tony O’Reilly.

Contact with O’Reilly elicited an immediate response: the stricture was “repugnant” to him. (I should add that in my three years as editor, the paper had no representations from Desmond.) At subsequent meetings with management, any pretence that the stricture was wider than O’Brien was dropped.

Contemporaneous with these meetings was the drawing up of a charter or code of practice for INM journalists with its infamous clause stipulating there could be no repeated, sustained, adversarial criticism of a person or organisation without the written permission of the managing editor. The charter eventually faded because a restructuring of the newspapers rendered it unnecessary.

“At one of these attritional meetings, I asserted that the managing editor did not outrank an editor. I was informed that an editor-in-chief would, and such a post could be created.

It was. On June 24, 2013, an editor-in-chief [Stephen Rae] was appointed, and within days the structure of the Sunday Independent was dismantled. From then on I never again held a meeting with my own staff that was not attended by persons with strange new titles taking notes furiously.

At the meeting to announce the appointment of the editor-in-chief I asked who, now, would make the decisions on coverage of O’Brien. I got no reply.

Copious correspondence asking the same question proved equally fruitless. But I did get an answer, a painful one, on July 19, 2014. In an article published in the early edition of the Sunday Independent, I referred to O’Brien and control of INM. Without reference to me, the editor-in-chief stopped the page and removed a crucial sentence.

I rang him to protest. The paper was delayed while we argued. In order to get the pages running again, several minor changes were negotiated. But I had no part in the removal of the crucial sentence. Did O’Brien have any knowledge of these events? I don’t know. I asked to meet him. I was told that wouldn’t happen.

Anne Harris, ex-editor of The Sunday Independent, in yesterday’s Sunday Times (behind paywall).

Previously: Continuity Rae

Denis O’Brien’s Editorial Interference: The Smoking Gun?