| 6.8°C Dublin

Delaney claims over 3,000 files 'privileged' as he seeks extra time

Close

John Delaney believes many of his files are privileged

John Delaney believes many of his files are privileged

John Delaney believes many of his files are privileged

The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) is opposed to ex-FAI boss John Delaney's application for further time to examine files seized as part of its criminal investigation into the association, the High Court heard.

The court has been asked, in an application where the FAI is the respondent, to make a determination if some of the files are covered by legal privilege and cannot be used by the ODCE as part of its probe.

UK-based Mr Delaney, who is a notice party to the action, wants more time to examine the material, which includes the contents of his emails.

The ODCE wants its application, which was initiated last February, heard in December.

The matter returned before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds yesterday when she expressed the court's displeasure at the pace of the inspection process.

The judge was critical of what she said was the "tit-for-tat tactics" being used by the ODCE and Mr Delaney regarding the inspection process.

The court heard that Mr Delaney, who is represented in court by Paul McGarry SC with Jack Tchrakian BL, had been making progress.

Since the process began in July however, problems had arisen which made it difficult to assess how many files are private or covered by legal privilege.

In a sworn statement, Mr Delaney's solicitor Aidan Eames said his client wants the matter dealt with as soon as possible so he can "move on with his life".

Mr Eames said his firm has put a massive effort into the inspection process.

However, co-operation and expedition "cannot be pursued at the price of compromising his client's rights".

Evidence

Mr Eames added that Mr Delaney is operating on a shoestring relative to the vast resources the ODCE and FAI.

Kerida Naidoo SC for the ODCE, said it was opposed to any further time being granted to Mr Delaney.

It had been suggested that Mr Delaney wanted to search the documentation using a new key search word, counsel said.

There was "no substance" to any of the issues raised by Mr Delaney, he said.

Evidence was put before the court that it was expected that one lawyer acting for the FAI will have reviewed all of the documentation in some 35 working days, and it will be completed in the next few weeks.

This was the case for Mr Delaney, and the ODCE was concerned that at the current pace, his review will take several more months to complete.

The ODCE said Mr Delaney had asserted that over 3,000 of the files he has reviewed are legally privileged.

It is seeking the appointment of an independent person to consider that material.

The ODCE was concerned, given that Mr Delaney is yet to review thousands more documents, that its investigation could be compromised. The ex-FAI boss's lawyers deny he is trying to delay the process.

Adjourning the case, Ms Justice Reynolds said she wanted to know if Mr Delaney's lawyers would take up an offer from the ODCE for help to speed up the process. If that offer was not being taken up, she wanted to know why not.

The matter will return before the High Court in two weeks.