THE HIGH COURT has halted an attempt by businessmen Denis O’Brien and Dermot Desmond to prevent Michael McDowell acting as a barrister for the Moriarty Tribunal, RTÉ reports.
The men had claimed that McDowell acting as a barrister could lead to an appearance of bias because of his previous conduct and comments roles as a TD and Attorney General.
Justice John Hedigan refused an application to seek judicial review earlier today, saying that O’Brien and Desmond’s arguments had “no basis in Irish law”. Hedigan said that the rules relating to objective bias did not apply to legal counsel, apart from in exceptional circumstances.
Hedigan said Mr McDowell was not a part of the tribunal legal team, but that he that he had been retained as independent counsel to examine one witness.
O’Brien and Desmond have announced that they intend to appeal the High Court decision.