Barrister for corporate watchdog says INM case to block application should fail

Director of Corporate Enforcement Ian Drennan wants to move inspectors into INM

Barrister for corporate watchdog says INM case to block application should fail

File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

A barrister for the State’s corporate watchdog says Independent News and Media’s case to block an application for inspectors to look into its affairs should fail.

He was responding to INM’s claim that the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement's decision to seek court appointed inspectors was unfair because they weren’t put on notice.

The Director of Corporate Enforcement Ian Drennan wants to move inspectors into INM on foot of what he described as “significant concerns” about the way the company is run.

To do so, he must apply to the High Court.

An attempt to do just that ran into the ground last month when INM decided to apply for a review of the decision to bring the application without given them a right of reply.

Yesterday, their barrister said the decision came as a “bolt out of the blue”.

Paul Gallagher said it was “inherently unfair” and caused the company reputational damage that resulted in a drop in its share price.

In reply, Counsel for the ODCE Brian Murray today accused INM of wishing to have this “whittled down because of matters they’d prefer the public didn’t hear”.

He described their case as “unstable” and said there’s no obligation of prior notice as a pre-condition to bringing such an application.