Promoter secures order against book by former partner of Gerry Ryan
THE HIGH Court has granted an interim order on consent restraining the sale and distribution of the autobiography of Melanie Verwoerd, the former partner of late RTÉ broadcaster Gerry Ryan.
The injunction was granted by Mr Justice Paul Gilligan early yesterday morning to David Kavanagh, a music promoter of Hatch Street, Dublin, a long-time friend of Mr Ryan, arising from certain material contained in the book written by Melanie Verwoerd. Mr Kavanagh alleges he has been defamed in the book, When We Dance.
The order applies until October 24th, when the court will decide whether to continue it after hearing both sides concerning the alleged defamatory material.
The order, sought by Brian O’Moore SC, for Mr Kavanagh, was made under section 33 of the Defamation Act 2009 and restrains Liberties Media Ltd, trading as Liberties Press, selling, publishing or distributing the book, due to to go on sale this week. Section 33 also restrains publication of details of the material about which Mr Kavanagh has complained.
The injunction was initially sought against the publishers and Ms Verwoerd but was ultimately made solely against the publishers. It binds anyone else who is aware of it from publishing, distributing or selling the book until October 24th.
Ms Verwoerd, a former South African ambassador to Ireland, was in court for the brief hearing and said afterwards that it would not be appropriate to comment at this stage.
Lawyers for Mr Kavanagh had applied to Mr Justice Gilligan ex parte (one side only represented) after normal court hours on Tuesday evening for the interim order but the judge returned the matter to yesterday after saying the other side should be put on notice.
Mr Kavanagh was not in court yesterday but Ms Verwoerd attended and was represented by Declan Doyle SC.
The publishers were represented by Liz Walsh, who said they only became aware of the application for an injunction stopping publication at 5pm on Tuesday and had insufficient time to prepare for the case.
A letter sent to the publishers on October 4th about the matter was not received as it was sent to the former address of the firm, the court heard. The book was in Eason’s bookshop since Tuesday and some of the books might have already gone on sale, Ms Walsh said.
The judge noted that the book was due to go on sale first thing yesterday, and, while he recognised there was a “very limited window of time”, said the publishers knew of the matter since 5pm on Tuesday.
As the matter came under the Defamation Act, the judge stressed that all journalists must take “extra care” not to make any reference whatsoever to the statements in the book which Mr Kavanagh was objecting to.