Former Independent News and Media chairman Leslie Buckley has said it would not be appropriate for him to speculate or to comment on any matter that may be the subject of legal proceedings.

His comments follow the news that his former employer has launched a legal action against him.

Leslie Buckley said he will "fully and robustly" defend himself in any action.

The lawsuit, reported by the Irish Independent, was initiated yesterday by INM and is expected to focus on alleged breaches of duties by the former chairman.

"I reiterate my already stated position that I will fully and robustly defend myself against each and every allegation. "I continue to reserve my position," Mr Buckley said in a statement today.

The Director of Corporate Enforcement, Ian Drennan, alleged in April that a significant data breach occured at Independent News and Media and information related to 19 individuals was accessed on its system in 2014.

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Mr Drennan said that the 19 people, including some well-known journalists, were named on an excel spreadsheet of individuals who may have had their data searched. 

INM is opposing an application by the ODCE for the appointment of High Court inspectors to investigate this breach and other corporate governance matters.

At the company's AGM in May, INM's current chairman Murdoch MacLennan said the appointment of an inspector would have a "damaging impact" on the company and its stakeholders, including its shareholders, employees, readers and customers. 

He also said that INM was acutely conscious" that the appointment of inspectors would by necessity result in a "very considerable ongoing cost" to it and a continuing requirement to devote "substantial resources" to deal with the inspection.