The High Court has been told that businessman Denis O'Brien has accused the Director of Corporate Enforcement of leaking details of the Director's application to have inspectors appointed to Independent News & Media to the media.

The court heard Mr O'Brien has written to the Director of Corporate Enforcement, Ian Drennan, telling him he intended to hold him "fully and personally responsible" for what he alleged were "breaches of duty".

In the letter sent on 6 April, Mr O'Brien said he had been subjected to extraordinary and intensifying media coverage suggesting he had been involved in wrongdoing.

He suggested that the Director had facilitated media access to the extensive document prepared by the ODCE in support of its application or had failed to take steps to restrict access to it. 

Mr O'Brien said this was causing damage to him and to his reputation. 

He went on to say that "in the aftermath of the collapse" of the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank boss, Sean FitzPatrick, he would have expected the ODCE to take care to have restricted access to the document so it could be considered by the court at the appropriate time. 

He went on to say he intended to hold the director, fully and personally responsible for these "breaches of duty".

The ODCE wrote back to Mr O'Brien rejecting the allegations and said no access had been facilitated by the Director to any third party - the papers had been served on INM and its current directors as required by the rules of court.

If any other parties had been given access to the document, lawyers for the ODCE said this was not done by the Director.

INM is to ask the court for permission to challenge the Director of Corporate Enforcement's decision to apply for inspectors to be appointed to the company. 

INM is opposing the application to have inspectors appointed and Senior Counsel, Shane Murphy for INM told the court, they would seek permission to challenge it on the grounds that the ODCE failed to notify INM of its intention to make the application to have inspectors appointed.

He said the Director had failed to give INM the opportunity to address the concerns raised and make submissions on them before proceeding with the application.

He said INM says the decision to apply for inspectors to be appointed is in breach of its rights to natural and constitutional justice and wants that decision to be quashed. 

Mr Murphy also told the court there were potential risks for the company from the very fact that the application was being made.

The High Court will hear INM's challenge to the decision of the ODCE to apply to have inspectors appointed to the company on 9 May.