Businessman appeal to Supreme Court over sale of Government shares in AIB

by Ann O'Loughlin

A businessman who is trying to prevent the sale of shares held by the government in AIB wants to bring his case to the Supreme Court .

Last week the Court of Appeal struck out Vincent O'Donoghue's appeal of the High Court decision to dismiss his action against AIB Plc, the Minister for Finance, the Government, Ireland and the Attorney General over the share sale.

He has now formally applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court on grounds his action raises a matter of general public importance.

In his action Mr O'Donoghue with an address at Church Street, Dublin 7 seeks a declaration that the proposed sale is contrary to the common good and was contrary to Article 6 of the Constitution and is unlawful.

He says that there is an obligation on the judiciary to intervene in the share sale and prevent the government from "acting unlawfully" when it intends to act in a manner that is contrary to the common good.

The High Court dismissed his action on grounds including it was frivolous, vexatious and bound to fail.

Mr O'Donoghue also failed to show any legal impediment requiring the State to hold on to its current level of shareholding with AIB, the High Court also held.

The court also dismissed Mr O'Donoghue's application for an injunction preventing the defendants from taking any steps to dispose of all or any parts of the State's shareholding in AIB pending the final outcome of his action.

He appealed those findings.

However the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court's decision.

Mr O Donoghue in his application to the Supreme Court says the Appeal Court erred in law by finding his action "amounted to a non justiciable political controversy" that was bound to fail.

The Supreme Court will at a later date issue a written decision on Mr Donoghue's application to be allowed bring an appeal before the court.


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