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in the dock Former FAI chief John Delaney has failed to comply with order, says High Court judge


John Delaney

John Delaney

John Delaney

Former FAI boss John Delaney has failed to comply with a court order to provide the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) with details about legal actions he is involved in, a High Court judge has said.

Mr Delaney’s lawyers dispute this and argued that he has complied with the order as much as he can.

Yesterday, Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds said that as far as she was concerned, Mr Delaney had not complied with last month’s order to provide the ODCE with the information it sought regarding litigation involving the former FAI CEO.

While the judge voiced her displeasure over the non-compliance, the court was prepared to give him more time to comply and adjourned the matter to a date next month.

Mr Delaney also claims he requires copies of certain documents from the ODCE to fully comply with the order.

However, he and his legal team have not been able to obtain them due to factors including time constraints and a refusal by the ODCE to provide him with such copies.

The failure to get them has made it impossible to make meaningful submissions to the court so it can assess what documents are covered by Legal Professional Privilege (LPP), he added. It was his intention to apply to the court for a direction that he be provided with the copies.

Mr Delaney also criticised the ODCE and said he could not understand its dogmatic refusal to engage with his lawyers and help to expedite the process. He also rejected claims by the ODCE that he was delaying the process.

Paul McGarry SC, for Mr Delaney, disputed that his client had not complied with the court’s order, adding that it had been difficult for him to provide the information sought by the director.

Kerida Naidoo SC, for the ODCE, said as far as it was concerned, Mr Delaney had not complied with the order, and it was asking the court to fix a hearing date early next year so all issues relating to LPP could be considered.

In a sworn statement, the ODCE said Mr Delaney has not been given the details the court directed him to provide about legal proceedings he is involved in.

The court heard that LPP is asserted by Mr Delaney in relation to around 900 items of documentation generated from legal actions he had been involved in.

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However, the ODCE says Mr Delaney does not identify specific litigation to it, but rather provides “completely generic terms” including defamation/reputation, shareholder dispute and property advice.

This, it claims, amounts to a failure to comply with the court’s order.

Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds said she wanted the order complied with before the matter progressed any further and was not prepared to fix a hearing date for the case to be heard.

The material at the centre of the dispute between the ODCE and Mr Delaney was taken as part of 280,000 documents covering a 17-year period, seized from the FAI’s offices in February 2020.

The ODCE wants to use the material as part of its ongoing criminal probe.

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