The High Court has approved the appointment of two inspectors to investigate the affairs of Independent News and Media.
The country’s corporate watchdog, the ODCE, had made the application after raising concerns about certain matters within the company.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly took over an hour and a half to read out parts of this 76 page judgement.
He said appointing two inspectors to INM was well justified and not disproportionate.
The Director of Corporate Enforcement had applied for the inspectors following raising concerns about certain matters within INM.
Lawyers for INM had argued against it, saying it could have negative consequences on the company.
In his judgement, Judge Kelly spoke about the allegations of the searching of 19 journalists’ data and said a free press is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy.
He said there were a myriad of issues within INM to which the answers are unknown and considerable mystery surrounds a number of them.
He later said there may be a complete explanation for the concerns raised - but, if not, what was alleged is very serious.
INM has asked to consider the judgment and Mr Kelly postponed making his final order
The court will sit again later in the week.