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Wolfe Tones lead singer sues RTÉ for defamation over comments made by Joe Duffy on Liveline

Brian Warfield is represented by well-known libel solicitor Paul Tweed in the proceedings

Wolfe Tones lead vocalist Brian Warfield has initiated a defamation case against RTÉ over comments made by Joe Duffy during a Liveline programme last year.

Liveline host Joe Duffy and Mr Warfield clashed on the programme on August 15th 2023 over the singing of the band’s song Celtic Symphony.

Mr Warfield confirmed to The Irish Times on Wednesday that he is taking defamation proceedings against RTÉ arising from comments that were made by Mr Duffy during the programme and broadcast after The Wolfe Tones had performed the song Celtic Symphony during Féile an Phobail in Belfast over the previous weekend.

He is represented by well-known libel solicitor Paul Tweed in the proceedings, which were filed in the High Court on Tuesday.


The Wolfe Tones announced last November the band is to retire after a career spanning nearly six decades.

The band’s career began in Dublin in 1964 and includes hits like Celtic Symphony, Irish Eyes, Grace, Streets of New York and Let The People Sing.

In September 2023, they drew the biggest crowd in Electric Picnic’s Electric Arena in the festival’s 19-year history.

Mr Duffy and RTÉ have both been contacted for comment.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times