A claim for defamation in Ireland can arise through a statement which is intended to lower the reputation, or which creates a negative image of the subject in the eyes of right-thinking people.
The right to one’s good name is protected under the constitution in Ireland, and the new Defamation Act 2009, which came into force on the 1st January 2010. This introduced many important changes to defamation law and procedures. Defamation comes in several forms, including, calumny, slander, vilification and libel.
Everyone has a right to protect their good name. The value of your reputation cannot be overstated, because a damaged reputation can cause all kinds of difficulties that can seriously affect your working life and your family’s quality of life.
A reputation often takes many years to build, but can be destroyed in moments by careless or inaccurate communication.
How to claim damages
Making a claim for defamation damages in Ireland can be a complex matter, requiring expert judgement and sensitivity. For example, do you simply want your good name cleared, or do you feel you should also be compensated for the damage to your reputation? In certain cases going too far to protect your name can backfire, and in itself have a negative impact.
What can you expect from us?
O’Donnell McKenna Solicitors are very experienced in dealing with all types of defamation claims and we will be able to advise you whether or not you have a valid claim, and what to do next.
Do I have a case?
Before making a claim for defamation damages, please consider the following:
- Any defamation claim will be costly and should only be pursued if the person or body who has made the statement has the financial means to pay you damages and costs if your claim is successful. If not, you could be left with a hefty legal bill, despite winning your case.
- To take an action you must know precisely what has been said or publicised about you. It is not enough for alleged remarks to have been made. We will need the exact content from you in order to determine whether a defamation has occurred.
- The publication of any remarks about you should have been relatively wide. If, for example, an offensive comment was made directly to you, and possibly overheard by a couple of people, this will not usually be adequate grounds for defamation.
- You cannot sue for defamation if the remarks made about you are largely true. For example, if you were publicly accused of being involved in criminal activity, but you do in fact have previous criminal convictions, then you could not win your case.
If you would like us to help you, or if you would simply like to have a chat to discuss your options, please don’t hesitate to contact us.