Whinging Ryanair to seek to prevent judge from hearing its cases

Ryanair, the World’s most hated airline, will apply next week to prevent a High Court judge hearing any more cases involving the airline on the basis of the views he has expressed about the company in recent actions, including remarks that the truth and Ryanair are “uncomfortable bedfellows”.

Martin Hayden SC, for Ryanair, told Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday his client wished the judge not to hear cases involving Ryanair in light of comments made by him in recent proceedings involving the airline.

Mr Hayden made the application as the court was adjourning proceedings in which Ryanair is being sued over its alleged delays in paying airport charges.

Mr Justice Kelly said he would not hear an application made “on the hoof” and it would have to be brought properly through a motion and grounded on affidavit. He returned the matter to next Monday.

Last week, the judge refused to allow Ryanair to appeal to the Supreme Court against his refusal to allow it to bring a judicial review challenge to new charges at Dublin airport. He ruled that Ryanair had failed to advance any point of law of exceptional public importance arising from his refusal which required determination by the Supreme Court, nor had it advanced any public interest grounds for an appeal.

The judge also told Mr Hayden he could not “be serious” in seeking to appeal orders for costs made against it by the judge in light of his findings that Ryanair had seriously misled the court and told untruths to and about the court and to Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey. He remarked at the time that he could have considered jailing orders in light of the untruths told by Ryanair.

The refusal of leave to appeal means Ryanair cannot pursue its bid for a court order aimed at quashing the Commission for Aviation Regulation’s decision last December approving charges for Dublin airport for the period 2010-14.

Mr Justice Kelly had previously refused Ryanair leave to bring a judicial review on grounds that the airline had itself said its preferred and most effective means of dealing with its complaint about charges was through an appeal to the appeals panel.

The judge had also said, given untruths told by Ryanair to and about the court, and to the Minister, that he was driven to conclude “the truth and Ryanair are uncomfortable bedfellows”.