Ryanair has been granted a judicial review against a ruling by the Irish Takeover Panel that it could not participate in a debate with Aer Lingus on RTÉ's Prime Time programme.

Aer Lingus Chief Executive Dermot Mannion and his Ryanair counterpart Michael O'Leary were due to participate in the debate on Tuesday night.

However, the panel, which monitors and regulates takeovers, said the debate would be a breach of takeover rules.

Lawyers for Ryanair argued today in the High Court that the ruling was disproportionate and said it was effectively a gagging order.

The court heard that the ITP had been concerned at the publication of details of Mr Mannion's so-called golden parachute clause in his contract.

It subsequently ruled that public statements must be sent to the panel for approval before publication.

Outside the court, Mr O'Leary said he hoped the programme would go ahead as both men were ready and willing to debate.

The review is due to be heard on Monday.