Validity of promissory notes challenged in High Court

Tuesday 22 January 2013 22.06
The case is being heard by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns
The case is being heard by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns

A legal challenge to the Government's use of promissory notes to fund some banks has opened in the High Court.

The case is being taken by David Hall, who is director of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation.

Outlining Mr Hall's case, John Rogers SC said the primary issue was the validity of the promissory notes and actions taken on foot of them.

He said the 2010 Act that established the notes required the Minister for Finance to secure a Dáil vote in respect of the promissory notes issued, although this was not done.

Without the vote, Mr Rogers said the notes were void.

He also said the Act only provided for financial assistance of this type until 2017, but the notes are due to pay out what he called "substantial tranches of billions" until 2031.

Mr Rogers said if it was the case that the minister did not require a Dáil vote, then the Act was unconstitutional.

The promissory notes provided for €31bn to be put into Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Nationwide and EBS.

The case is expected to last four days and is before the President of the High Court, Nicholas Kearns.