The Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay South, Chris Andrews, has lodged defamation proceedings in the High Court against The Irish Times and its political correspondent, Harry McGee.
The politician is understood to be claiming that he was defamed in an article written by McGee and published in The Irish Times concerning the Sinn Féin response to the Hamas attack on Israel.
Among the matters covered in the article were comments by Mr Andrews on social media about the events in Israel which included his responses to a tweet from the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Last year, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste Micheál Martin, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, and Minister for Expenditure and Public Reform Paschal Donohoe all criticised Sinn Féin, saying threats of legal action and legal actions taken by members of the party against politicians and the media were having a “chilling effect” on Irish democracy.
In response, a spokesman for the party said the cases were taken by people who had “no option but to vindicate their good name in the face of false accusations made by others”.
“The right to vindicate one’s good name has no impact on the cut-and-thrust of political debate, as can be seen in the Dáil, in council chambers, and in media debates on a daily basis,” he said.
Last year, the party leader Mary Lou McDonald issued defamation proceedings against RTÉ over an item on radio about Government politicians being excluded from speaking at a rally organised by the National Women’s Council.