Monday 24 September 2018

RTE seeks to report O'Brien statement


RTE will return to the High Court on Tuesday seeking the right to report contested Dail statements about the financial affairs of businessman Denis O'Brien.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night rejected opposition demands to re-call the Dail for a special debate on the dispute over comments made by Independent TD Catherine Murphy relating to Mr O'Brien and IBRC.

The High Court has already ruled that RTE cannot report on aspects of Mr O'Brien's business dealings with the IBRC.

But the state broadcaster will return to court to make an application for permission to report what Ms Murphy said under privilege in the Dail.


Oireachtas sources said it did not appear that Ms Murphy (below) abused privilege with her remarks on Thursday.

Sources said it appeared "absolute privilege" overrides court injunctions, and no complaint had yet been received by the Ceann Comhairle.

Mr O'Brien has said the information given in the Dail was false and prohibited by the High Court ruling, given on May 21.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach said the issue can be discussed in due course when the Dail returns on Tuesday, June 9.

"We are as concerned as everyone else about the issues of parliamentary privilege and freedom of speech, but we must not be seen to be interfering in court processes which are still in train," the spokesman said.

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