UPDATE 1-Irish broadcaster allowed to report speech accusing billionaire

martes 2 de junio de 2015 08:37 GYT

* Judge says court cannot restrict reporting of parliament

* O'Brien is one of Ireland's most powerful press barons

* O'Brien says accusations of sweetheart loans contain falsehoods (Recasts after court's decision, adds O'Brien comments)

By Padraic Halpin

DUBLIN, June 2 (Reuters) - Ireland's state broadcaster aired a lawmaker's speech accusing a billionaire of obtaining sweetheart bank loans, after a court ruled on Tuesday that the right to report on parliament trumped a court order to muzzle potentially libellous allegations.

Billionaire press baron Denis O'Brien says accusations of financial wrongdoing against him contain falsehoods. He obtained a court order in May preventing state broadcaster RTE from running a report about his business affairs.

But last week lawmaker Catherine Murphy repeated the allegations in parliament, a venue that normally provides "absolute privilege" - the right of the media to report what is said free of any restriction.

RTE appealed on Tuesday for the right to report Murphy's speech, and won the backing of Judge Donald Binchy.

"It's clear to me that the court can't make restrictions on the fair reporting of utterances in Dáil Éireann," Binchy told a packed court room, referring to parliament's lower house.   Continuación...