A Supreme Court judge has said that if claims of corruption in how Denis O'Brien's Esat Digifone was awarded its mobile phone licence are proved, they would disgrace the nation and the State.

The court has published its reasons for allowing a case to go ahead by two competing consortia who are seeking compensation.

Two mobile phone consortia who lost out to Denis O'Brien's Esat Digifone in the competition for the State's lucrative second mobile phone licence are seeking compensation.

They allege there was fraud and corruption in the way the licence was awarded.

Between them the consortia are taking actions against former minister Michael Lowry, East Telecom, Denis O’Brien, Ireland and the Attorney General.

The State parties secured High Court orders stopping the cases on the grounds of delay, but last July the Supreme Court ruled the actions could go ahead.

Today, they published their reasons.

Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman said the integrity of Ireland as well of the consortia required a trial of their claims of corruption, which they were alleging took the form of bribes.

He said such things, if true, would be utterly disgraceful, destructive of the reputation of both the briber and the person bribed.

If proved, it would be a commercial and political disgrace of the highest order and would disgrace the nation and the State, he said.

The judges said the consortia had been entitled to wait for the outcome of the Moriarty Tribunal before bringing their actions.

Businessman Declan Ganley's Comcast International Holdings Incorporated and Persona Digital Telephony Ltd had initiated separate actions in 2001 challenging the licence award and claiming multi-million euro in damages.