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Declan Ganley WILL be joined as a co-defendant in Denis O'Brien's action against Red Flag Consulting

The decision by Justice Miriam O’Regan comes after a two-day hearing on the subject last week.

pjimage (1) Denis O'Brien (l) and Declan Ganley Source: Rollingnews.ie

DENIS O’BRIEN HAS succeeded in securing a court order making millionaire Declan Ganley a co-defendant in a defamation case he has taken against media group Red Flag Consulting.

In her judgement today, Justice Miriam O’Regan ordered that Ganley be joined as a co-defendant in the action, and also that the original statement of claim be amended to include alleged conspiracy, both lawful and unlawful.

The overarching case concerns an action that communications billionaire O’Brien took against the consultancy firm after a USB stick containing a dossier of information on him compiled by Red Flag was delivered to his office anonymously in October 2015.

Last week, counsel for O’Brien Michael Cush had argued that affidavits sworn by a number of people, including former TD and one-time harsh critic of O’Brien Colm Keaveney, showed that fellow billionaire Ganley was the client of Red Flag who had commissioned the dossier.

He also argued that a number of text messages between Keaveney and Red Flag CEO Karl Brophy in 2015 showed that O’Brien was justified in amending his statement of claim against the company to include a charge of unlawful conspiracy.

Ganley had argued that over two years had passed since the filing of the initial action – exceeding the statute of limitations to join someone to a defamation action once it has begun.

O’Brien countered that the period of time for attaching the would-be defendant should only begin once he had become aware of who the client was  – something O’Brien says occurred in October of last year.

Regarding the amendment of claim, O’Brien had argued that Red Flag were culpable for a potential breach of the Official Secrets Act 1963, in allegedly arranging for a meeting to take place between Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and senior Department of Finance official Neil Ryan concerning O’Brien’s private banking affairs.

In her ruling, O’Regan agreed with counsel for O’Brien that the pleadings regarding the amendment of claim (to include lawful and unlawful conspiracy, and also potential relief for breach of confidence) were of more importance than the evidence currently available, per legal precedent.

Accordingly, she made orders that Ganley be joined to the defamation action along with Red Flag, and that the amended statement of claim be instated.

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More to follow…

Read: Former TD comes centre stage in attempt by Denis O’Brien to name Declan Ganley in court action

Read: ‘That was the time for Denis O’Brien to emerge from the shadows, but he didn’t’

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