Northern Ireland news

Inspectors should probe alleged data breach at media group says judge

Belfast Telegraph owners INM could see inspectors appointed after concerns there was a data breach at the company
Michelle Devane and Michael McHugh

INSPECTORS should be appointed to one of Ireland's largest media groups, a judge has said.

Independent News and Media (INM) owns several newspapers including the daily Irish Independent and Northern Ireland's Belfast Telegraph.

The High Court in Dublin heard an application by the state's corporate watchdog to have inspectors appointed.

The media company opposed the move on grounds that it could damage its business.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly rejected the objections of the company's board and accepted the appointment of the inspectors was in the public interest.

He said: "I believe this to be a case where an interim report from the inspectors should be provided."

The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) took the court action.

The judge said: "The director has averred that during the course of his investigation he has uncovered evidence to suggest that there may have been unlawful sharing of the company's inside information with third parties outside of the company as well as unlawful sharing of the company's confidential information."

It follows an alleged data breach within the firm in 2014 involving 19 people.

Mr Justice Kelly agreed not to make a final order in the case. He said he would allow INM to consider the judgment and the court will sit again tomorrow morning.

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