Two former INM executives have been given permission by the High Court to use certain documents in a possible case against the company for alleged breach of privacy and data protection.
Former INM CEO Gavin O'Reilly and former director of corporate affairs Karl Brophy are considering legal action against INM and others as a result of an alleged data breach at INM in 2014.
Mr O'Reilly and Mr Brophy are both concerned their personal data was accessed.
A range of materials was provided to them last year as part of an application by the ODCE to appoint an inspector to INM.
They were given on condition they could be used only for that hearing. Anyone seeking additional use of the material had to ask the court.
The ODCE had not opposed the two using the materials in their contemplated proceedings.
INM objected for reasons including data protection concerns and lack of clarity about the nature of the contemplated proceedings and the identity of the respondents to be sued.
In his judgment, Mr Justice Peter Kelly said there were special circumstances justifying the making of the order and he was also satisfied it would not cause any injustice to INM.
He set out details concerning the alleged data breach and the concerns of Mr O'Reilly and Mr Brophy in that regard.
Mr Brophy is among 19 individuals whose data appeared to have been searched and he was concerned that data included highly sensitive information such as medical and employee records. He was also concerned the alleged searching may have breached journalistic privilege.
While Mr O'Reilly was not among the 19 people, he believes it was clear from the material disclosed to date he was "personally targeted by the data interrogation," the judge also noted.
He noted both men intend to bring proceedings alleging breach of privacy, data privacy rights, constitutional rights and alleging they have suffered loss and damage.
He also noted the material provided to the two has been given with the consent of INM and did not involve any unilateral action by the ODCE.
If he refused this application, the applicants would almost inevitably get the material following a discovery application.
He rejected further arguments that allowing the applicants use the material would give them an improper litigation advantage.
The applicants already know the contents of the documents and there was no issue here of "fishing" for additional information to support their case.
He saw no injustice or disadvantage to INM in making the order, but there would be a disadvantage for the applicants who would face increase costs and delay as they would have to make a discovery application.