A company that provides various services to foreign students has launched High Court proceedings against RTÉ and journalist Barry O'Kelly over plans to broadcast a report into the rented accommodation sector in Ireland.

The action has been taken by the Green Effect Technology Limited T/a Global Academics, and its directors Jason Orr and Joshua Cantwell, in relation to a planned broadcast on the Prime Time programme tonight.

The company said it provides services to foreign students visiting Ireland, such as information and orientation and language services.

The company said it was not involved in the provision of medium-term or long-term accommodation or was it involved in the private rented dwelling accommodation sector.

However, it said it had entered into a lease agreement with a premises at The Data, 79 Old Kilmainham Road, Dublin, which it uses as an office and for temporary accommodation.

Some students had stayed at the premises.

Last August, the company received a warning letter from Dublin City Council, which said that an unauthorised development had taken place.

An inspection of the building was carried out by Dublin Fire Brigade in September, and the building was vacated by 11 October.

The company said it had tried to engage with the various authorities.

However, it was contacted by RTÉ in October, saying it was compiling a report in the rented accommodation sector and there was an immediate danger to the welfare and safety of tenants at the building.

The company said that RTÉ has alleged there had been multiple breaches of the Fire Safety Regulations and Building Regulations at 79 Old Kilmainham Road.

The company claims it is engaging with the relevant authorities and that RTÉ's intention to broadcast anything about Global Academics will usurp the relevant statutory process.

This, the company and the directors claim, will completely undermine their rights, including their right to privacy and to earn a living.

They fear that the broadcast will portray them as being unquestionably guilty of offences in the documentary.

They claim RTÉ is not permitting an appropriate investigation by DCC to take place as RTÉ have arrived at a finding of their own.

They want the broadcast restrained until the completion of investigations by the relevant authorities.

The applicants are seeking an injunction restraining RTÉ and journalist Barry O'Kelly from broadcasting or publishing anything about the applicants, their business, their economic relations and any references to their property until all investigations have been concluded by all the relevant authorities.

The matter came before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan.

The judge granted the applicants permission, on an ex-parte basis, to serve short notice of the proceedings on RTÉ and Mr O'Kelly.

The judge said he was not prepared to make any orders until the court had heard from RTÉ.