Denis O’Brien has lost his legal action over statements made in the Dáil about his banking affairs with the IBRC.
He claimed remarks made by Donegal SF TD Pearse Doherty and Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy amounted to an “unwarranted interference” with the work of the courts.
In April 2015, Denis O’Brien was granted a temporary injunction to protect his dealings with the IBRC from being broadcast on RTÉ.
It was still in place when Deputies Catherine Murphy and Pearse Doherty subsequently revealed some of those details in the Dáil.
By doing so, he claimed they effectively decided the outcome of his case and breached the separation of powers between the Oireachtas and the courts.
Ms. Justice Una Ní Raifeartaigh had to consider whether the courts should intervene when parliamentary privilege is used to release information that’s the subject of a court order.
In the end, she decided they couldn’t unless there’s a grave threat to the Constitution – which isn’t the case here, she said.
Mr. O’Brien wasn’t in court this morning. The issue of costs will be dealt with next week.
Meanwhile, in a statement today, Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has welcomed the High Court ruling.
He says it is very welcome as it vindicates both himself and Catherine Murphy and makes it clear that their comments, made under Dáil privilege, did not affect the outcome of his case against RTÉ.
He says “This judgement now provides absolute clarity and lifts the concerns of TDs of raising issues of national importance.”