The Director of Public Prosecutions has told a court in Dublin that there is no legal basis for not identifying a 35-year-old public servant charged with falsely imprisoning and sexually assaulting a woman at his workplace last year.
Judge Treasa Kelly made an order last month that the man's name or occupation were not to be published but this was challenged in court today by five media organisations including RTÉ.
However, Judge John Lindsay said today he did not know why Judge Kelly made the order and therefore he was not prepared to rescind it.
He referred the matter of reporting restrictions in the case back to Judge Kelly's court next month.
The man who was arrested and charged at the Bridewell Garda station in Dublin last month was remanded on continuing bail to appear again at the Dublin District Court in December.
He is accused of falsely imprisoning a woman at his place of employment on 29 September last year and three counts of sexually assaulting her at the same location on the same date.
The man is also accused of engaging in offensive conduct of a sexual nature at another location on dates unknown between 23 August 2019 and 25 February 2020.
All five offences are alleged to have taken place in Leinster.
The sexual assault charges are contrary to Section 2 of the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act, 1990 as amended by Section 37 of the Sex Offenders Act 2001.
The alleged offensive conduct of a sexual nature is contrary to section 45(3) of the Criminal Law Sexual Offences Act of 2017, while the false imprisonment charge is contrary to Section 15 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997
Barrister Tom Murphy represented RTÉ, the Irish Times, Independent Media, News Ireland and DMG which includes the Mail newspapers.
He told Judge Lindsay that the media were "seriously concerned" about Judge Kelly's order, that there was no basis in law for the reporting restrictions imposed, no legislation which allowed the court to make the order and no evidence that identifying the accused would "imperil" his right to a fair trial.
He also said Judge Lindsay was not precluded from lifting the order because it was a matter for the court and would not be "an interference" with another judge.
The man's solicitor Martin Moran replied that the application was made before Judge Kelly and should go back before her and that it should be made in "the proper manner" with submissions.
He told the court he received a letter from RTÉ which was "vague", stating RTÉ did not believe his client was entitled to anonymity but not citing what legislation was being relied upon.
He also said that this was a matter between his client and the DPP and not a matter for the media and RTÉ. "If I wrote to RTÉ about the Toy show tonight," he said, "they would not come back to me."
Domhnail Forde for the Director of Public Prosecutions agreed with the media application and said there was no legislative basis for imposing reporting restrictions and that naming the accused man would in no way identify the injured parties as they were not connected.
However, Judge Lindsay said he did not know why Judge Kelly made the order, and there was no note explaining the basis for the order. "She hopefully will know why she made the order," he said, adding: "I don't, I wasn't here. In the absence of a clear reason, I will send it back to her."
Judge Lindsay refused a defence application that the media provide submissions for their application which he deemed as unnecessary and sent the matter back to a hearing at Judge Treasa Kelly's court in December "to deal with the issue of reporting restrictions."