Ireland: CASE summary

Beverly Cooper Flynn v RTé

On 23 March, a final verdict was announced in the Beverley Cooper Flynn libel action against RTÉ (Radio Telefis éireann). The jury found that RTÉ had failed to prove that Cooper Flynn had persuaded James Howard to evade his tax obligations. However, they also found that RTÉ had proved allegations that Cooper Flynn had encouraged tax evasion. And since they felt allegations concerning Howard in particular had not damaged her reputation, they awarded no damages. The issue of costs will be decided today (2 April). Mr Justice Morris presided over the case, which began in February. McCann FitzGerald acted for Beverley Cooper Flynn while Eugene F Collins acted for RTÉ and Cahill O'Donovan acted for James Howard.

Ryanair v Aer Rianta

A&L Goodbody acted for Ryanair in obtaining an interim injunction against Aer Rianta regarding the imposition of new charges and new ground-handling rules at Dublin Airport. Ryanair was successful in gaining this interim injunction though not the interlocutory. It is now going to a final hearing. Aer Rianta was advised by Arthur Cox.

McGill TV Guide v ITP, BBC & RTÉ

Following a decision from the European Court in favour of McGill magazine, the magazine pursued damages in the Irish court and settled at the end of last year. The dispute dates back to plans by McGill a number of years ago to publish a television guide which RTÉ, the BBC and ITP (International Television Productions) sought to injunct. Matheson Ormsby Prentice acted for both ITP and the BBC, while RTÉ was advised by Eugene F Collins and McGill TV Guide by Gore & Grimes.

Mary Peters v Ark Life

Mary Peters is suing Ark Life for the alleged use of her name to endorse one of its products. Ark Life is represented by A&L Goodbody and Matheson Ormsby Prentice is acting for Mary Peters.

Denis O'Brien v Irish Mirror

A retrial is expected to take place in July following a decision by the Supreme Court to overturn a High Court decision to award £250,000 to businessman Denis O'Brien in a libel case with the Irish Mirror. The court judged that the award to O'Brien had been disproportionately high and ordered a retrial on the issue of damages. Libel action was initially taken and won over allegations that O'Brien had secured a radio licence for 98fm by bribing former minister Ray Burke. McCann FitzGerald continues to advise the Irish Mirror, while O'Brien is being represented by Bradleys.

National Irish Bank v Purcell Bros

The litigation was settled on the day the proceedings were due to start in the High Court. The case involved action taken by the National Irish Bank to take in security for currency transactions undertaken by meat exporter Purcell Bros. LK Shields acted for Purcell Bros, while McCann FitzGerald advised the National Irish Bank.

HIV tribunal of inquiry – the Lindsay tribunal

Proceedings are continuing in the Lindsay tribunal, which began on 2 May, 2000, before Her Honour Judge Alison Lindsay. The tribunal was set up to inquire into the facts surrounding the contamination of blood and blood products with HIV and Hepatitis C. The Irish Haemophilia Society successfully applied on 20 December 2000 to extend the deadline for submitting to the Lindsay tribunal additional medical records of haemophiliacs infected with HIV and Hepatitis C. Proceedings are ongoing, and numerous law firms are involved. There are, however, only three parties with full legal representation at the tribunal: McCann FitzGerald is representing the Blood Transfusion Board, Malcomson Law Solicitors is acting for the Irish Haemophilia Society and Lawrence Farell, the chief state solicitor, is acting for the minister for health. Other firms acting for individual parties include Arthur Cox, A&L Goodbody, Eugene F Collins, Conway Kelleher Tobin and BCM Hanby Wallace.