Judge lets fly at apologetic O'Leary over 'pathetic' lie
A HIGH Court judge ordered Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary to take his hand out of his pocket while swearing on the Bible to give evidence in court yesterday.
The airline chief also apologised unreservedly to the judge over a "lie" in a letter to the Transport Minister.
The letter alleged Mr Justice Peter Kelly publicly criticised Noel Dempsey over "inexcusable" delays in setting up an appeal panel against proposed new charges at Dublin Airport. The allegation was "a lie", the judge said.
Mr Justice Kelly said yesterday he found it "offensive" and of "grave concern" that he had been seriously misrepresented in a material way in a letter from the Ryanair CEO to Mr Dempsey on February 25 last.
Mr O'Leary had attempted to justify his claim by a "pathetic" and "wholly unbelievable" reference to quotations from the court transcript in which the judge referred to discrepancies in laws allowing for appeals against decisions of the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR).
He never criticised Mr Dempsey over delays, "inexcusable or otherwise", and Mr O'Leary should not have put the matter as he had, the judge said.
However, because Mr O'Leary had apologised to the court and had undertaken to write a letter of apology to Mr Dempsey, stating his remarks about the judge were wrong, he would not take the matter further.
Given other incorrect statements by Ryanair, the judge added he wanted to see Mr O'Leary's draft letter of apology to Mr Dempsey by next Tuesday before that letter was sent.
Mr O'Leary was lucky that the matter was not treated as contempt of court, the judge said. …