For months, Denis O’Brien has battled Dublin public affairs firm Red Flag in the High Court, claiming that an illegal conspiracy exists to damage him. But how did it come to this? Peter Murtagh explains a tortuous trail . . .
For many years, Mark Hollingsworth has used his role as a journalist and author to spy on people and inveigle information useful to his wealthy clients. Hollingsworth is the only person known to have obtained directly from Red Flag Consulting the dossier at the heart of Denis O’Brien’s legal action against the company. An examination of his career and modus operandi illustrates how he operates.
When he came to Dublin in 2015 asking people about O’Brien, zoning in on the businessman’s critics and seeking to identify their sources of information, he didn’t tell anyone that he was working with a corporate intelligence company. Instead, Hollingsworth said he was working for the Sunday Times but that newspaper has since effectively disowned him.