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Regional daily wins court fight to overturn council ‘superinjunction’

A regional daily has won a court fight to overturn a “superinjunction” obtained by a local council.

The Belfast Telegraph has won the right to reveal an interim injunction was granted to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and four senior officials at a hearing last month.

When the injunction was granted on 3 March an order preventing reporting of those proceedings, the effect of which is akin to a superinjunction, was also made.

But now, following a High Court hearing, the Bel Tel has been able to reveal that the injunction related to the publication of details of secret recordings made at council offices.


David Dunlop KC, counsel for Bel Tel publisher Mediahuis UK, instructed by Fergal McGoldrick, made the case to Belfast’s High Court, pictured, that the restriction was inappropriate in the circumstances of the case.

According to the Bel Tel, written submissions made by Mediahuis included that the council is a “publicly funded, public and democratically elected authority and public funds are likely to have been used to obtain the interim injunction”.

This, Mediahuis argued, made the order “a matter of considerable public interest”.

It was further argued that the council has been identified in a number of existing media reports “as an organisation whose officials’ conversations were recorded and posted online”.

Tony McGleenan KC, representing the council and officials, accepted that the terms of the reporting restriction would need to be amended to permit reporting of proceedings.

A continuation of the injunction preventing the publication of information relating to the recordings was granted at the High Court hearing on 31 March.

It will be reviewed on 5 May.