Jimmy Guerin’s defamation action against Gemma O’Doherty adjourned to next week

Judge said he was conscious of ‘people getting home this evening’

The High Court action in which Councillor Jimmy Guerin claims journalist Gemma O’Doherty defamed him has been adjourned to Tuesday.

Following closing speeches by Feargal Kavanagh, for Ms O’Doherty, and Ronan Lupton, for Mr Guerin, Mr Justice Tony O’Connor said he proposed adjourning to next Tuesday because he was “very conscious of the situation of people getting home this evening”.

After he has given his charge on Tuesday, he will ask the jury to go out and consider a verdict.

Mr Guerin, a brother of murdered journalist Veronica Guerin, claims Ms O’Doherty defamed him in social media posts and a website video which he claims meant he was a convicted paedophile.


Mr Guerin is suing Ms O’Doherty, a former journalist with the Irish Independent, over the postings on Twitter (X), Facebook and her own internet video broadcast portal, Gemma.TV/gemmaodoherty.com, on July 11th and 12th, 2019.

The Twitter and Facebook posts stated that “paedophile brother of Veronica Guerin, murdered with the involvement of garda” had been found guilty of possession of hundreds of child sexual abuse images.

The broadcast includes a statement of “how the brother of Veronica Guerin” was found with large quantities of child sexual abuse images.

It was in fact Mr Guerin’s brother, Martin Guerin (68), who pleaded guilty in 2019 to possession of hundreds of images and 146 movie files of child pornography. He later received a two-and-a-half year suspended prison sentence.

Jimmy Guerin, who is also an independent Fingal County Councillor and a businessman, says the words published and broadcast by Ms O’Doherty were understood to refer to him and meant he was a paedophile.

The material was “cynically and deliberately calculated not to identify Martin and therefore identify Jimmy as the individual” who had come before the courts, he claims.

He also claims it was done to get back at him for comments he made the previous year when Ms O’Doherty was seeking a Presidential nomination.

Ms O’Doherty admits publication but says her words were clearly intended and understood to refer to Martin. She also claims Mr Guerin, by bringing the action, was deliberately trying to silence a journalist who has campaigned on corruption and child abuse issues over the years.