Meanwhile, In The Supreme Court

at

Gavin

Gavin Sheridan, of TheStory.ie

The FOI-inator Gavin Sheridan has been battling for five years to seek certain information in relation to NAMA.

Writing on thestory.ie last week, he explained:

“Back in February 2010, we sent a request to NAMA seeking certain information under the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations. NAMA had just been established. We sent a similar request to Anglo Irish Bank. Both rejected our requests on the basis that they did not see themselves as public authorities under those regulations. We disagreed.

“For 5 years the case has wound its way through the system, from a Commissioner ruling in September 2011 (which went in our favour), to High Court hearings in 2012 and two High Court judgments in early 2013 (the judge ruled against NAMA on both the substantive issue and on the issue of a stay, pending a Supreme Court appeal). We had to seek, and were granted, an expedited hearing after NAMA appealed both. There were almost two days of hearings in the Supreme Court in 2014, before five judges.”

“The issue to be decided, among others, is what the term “and includes” means in the Regulations, and whether NAMA/Anglo, by virtue of being listed in 3(1) under the definition of public authority at parts vi) and vii), are in fact public authorities.

“If the court rules as we believe it should, then NAMA becomes a public authority under AIE, and all bodies listed in parts i) to vii) of 3(1) of the Regulations become de facto public authorities (below), and we will finally have legal clarity.

(i) a Minister of the Government,

(ii) the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland,

(iii) a local authority for the purposes of the Local Government Act 2001 (No. 37 of 2001),

(iv) a harbour authority within the meaning of the Harbours Act 1946 (No. 9 of 1946),

(v) the Health Service Executive established under the Health Act 2004 (No. 42 of 2004),

(vi) a board or other body (but not including a company under the Companies Acts) established by or under statute,

(vii) a company under the Companies Acts, in which all the shares are held—

(I) by or on behalf of a Minister of the Government,

(II) by directors appointed by a Minister of the Government,

(III) by a board or other body within the meaning of paragraph (vi), or

(IV) by a company to which subparagraph (I) or (II) applies, having public administrative functions and responsibilities, and possessing environmental information;

Well, the judgment is in…

Fair play in fairness.

Read this morning’s judgment in full here

19 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In The Supreme Court

      1. Anne

        EU Judgment paves the way for UK Water Industry to come clean about its “dirty secrets”

        The public’s ‘right to know’ what gets dumped into our rivers received a welcome boost this week when the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a judgment on important questions of EU law related to public access to environmental information about the activities of the privatised water and sewage companies in the UK. This judgment came out of Fish Legal’s ongoing case at the UK’s Upper Tribunal which aims to overturn the Smartsource decision in 2010 that denied the public access to information about water companies

  1. kerryview

    lots and lots of words there. It’s very warm down here. What is the upshot? Who won/lost?
    What does it all mean? I’m sure it’s very important if BS devoted so much space to it. My head hurts.

    1. Stephen

      NAMA lost, the people won. NAMA now has to comply with the freedom of information requests that were made five years ago. Nice one NAMA for dragging it through the courts and costing the tax payer lots of money.

  2. Peter Dempsey

    Another naval-gazer with too much time on his hands. Watch him and his narcissistic mates flood the system with spurious requests for information.

    1. Gavin

      I thoroughly enjoy idiotic gobshites like Peter Dempsey writing comments about something you know nothing about, concerning things you seem incapable of understanding.

  3. Parochial Central

    Will Sheridan be using his money from Murdoch to pay for any of this court action? Who cares? He’s another RTE contractor luvvie who got lucky with Storyful.

    1. Gavin

      And Parochial Central, as an anonymous commenter, carries as much weight as, well, an anonymous commenter, posting factually incorrect and non sequitur bullshit.

    1. Anne

      Judged ruled nama are included as public authorities, subject to foi requests..

      Each tweet explains what the judge is on about.. previous cases.. the definition of ‘included’ etc.

  4. Lilly

    This can only be good. Nama has been hiding behind the veil of ‘commercial sensitivity’ for far too long. Mick Wallace made some interesting comments about Nama on Marian Finucane last weekend. It has arguably not been acting in the interests of the taxpayer and has fought tooth and nail to avoid scrutiny.

  5. Lilly

    The Namawinelake blog was excellent. I’d love to know who forced it to shut down but I expect it was our national Censor [Redacted].

    1. Anne

      He still tweets I think.. You could ask him.
      https://twitter.com/namawinelake

      I asked him something once and he answered.. although the Irishtimes later contradicted his answer.
      It was in relation to Cork developer Michael O’Flynn.. His loans totalled 1.8 billion..Nama sold them onto a US firm for 1.1 billion. The winelake fella said that the US firm would recoup the full outstanding amounts of 1.8 billion.. The IrishTimes wrote soon afterwards that the amount the loans were purchased for – 1.1b, would be the amount the new crowd would be looking for and could expect to recoup, otherwise the loans would have been sold on for more than the 1.1b

      Either way, the taxpayer picked up the tab for the .7b

      He’s a bit highly strung and curt, and he gave me wrong info.. but you could ask.

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