Second Barrister appointed to help with inspection of seized FAI documents

Aodhan O'Faolain

Reporter:

Aodhan O'Faolain

Email:

news@tipperarylive.ie

Ex FAI boss John Delaney given until mid-January to complete file inspection

Former FAI CEO John Delaney

The appointment of a second independent person to assist in the examination of thousands of emails and documents seized from the offices of the FAI by the ODCE has been confirmed by the High Court.

Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds was informed on Wednesday by Kerida Naidoo SC for ODCE that barrister Patrick Mair Bl will take up the role.   

Mr Mair will now work with Niall Nolan Bl in helping the court to identify which of the seized documents are covered by Legal Professional Privilege.

The two independent persons will prepare a report for the court which will aid the judge in determining which of the material is privileged and which is not.

It is hoped that they will complete their work by June.

Claims of Legal Professional Privilege have been made in respect of 3500 documents by ex FAI CEO John Delaney, while the FAI is claiming privilege over 1000 documents.

Any document deemed to be privileged cannot be used by the corporate watchdog as part of its criminal investigation into certain matters at the FAI. 

After confirming Mr Mair's appointment the judge praised all the sides for their efforts in expediting matters, but accepted that other matters, including Mr Delaney's application to have the hearing held in private, remain outstanding.

That application is due to be heard by the court later this month.

The application arises out of Mr Delaney’s concerns that media reports of the court case will result in what he claims is private and legally privileged information entering the public domain.

The 'in camera' application is opposed by Sunday Times News, which is being supported by several other media outlets including the Irish Times, RTE, the Irish Examiner and the Journal.ie. 

The examination process arises out of the seizure of some 280,000 file by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement in February 2020 as part of its criminal investigation into certain matters at the FAI.

Arising out of the seizure the High Court has been asked by the ODCE, in an application where the FAI is the respondent and Mr Delaney is a notice party, to determine if some of those files are privileged and cannot be used by the ODCE.

Mr Delaney has been allowed inspect the files to see which ones are private to him or covered by LPP.

The matter has been before the court on several occasions over the last 13 months.