The Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee has received legal advice warning of the dangers of holding private hearings into the controversial Irish Glass Bottle deal while it is subject of a court action.
The advice, seen by RTÉ News, says that if information got into the public domain "not only could this expose a member to an action for contempt of court, but also - the reputational risk for the PAC would be enormous."
The advice said the PAC would "leave itself open to the wrath of the judiciary" if its actions interfere in the administration of justice.
It also said the hearings would go against the wishes of Environment Minister Phil Hogan and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.
One source told RTÉ News that following the advice it was likely the committee would not hold a private hearing into the purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site.
At the weekend it was reported that the DDDA had outlined its objections to a public inquiry. However, in a further strongly worded letter seen by RTÉ News today, the authority has also raised issues with private hearings.
John Tierney, who is chairman of the authority, said the purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site was currently subject to a legal action.
He said he was concerned hearings by the committee could have an "adverse impact" on the authority's defence in the action.
In his letter Mr Tierney said: "It is important to note that the primary issue for the Authority is not whether there are private or public sessions held by the PAC into the matter, but rather whether any private sessions can remain confidential and undisclosed so as not to compromise the authority's ability to defend the action."
He said that the plaintiffs in the proceedings, the consortium Donatex and developer Bernard McNamara, are trying to claim €100m from the authority and ultimately the Irish taxpayer.
The Irish Glass Bottle site was bought by Donatex, Bernard McNamara and the authority for over €400m in 2006.
Since the purchase the site had remained idle and property values have collapsed.