Company chief told to pay €5,000 for defaming man


The head of an engineering company told a Fianna Fáil TD over the phone that a man on whose behalf the TD was making representations was “a Sinn Féin f***er, sympathiser and troublesome employee,” a court heard yesterday.

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, president of the Circuit Court, told Barry English (44) to pay former soldier Liam Moloney €5,000 compensation for defamation of character relating to remarks Mr English made on the telephone to TD Niall Collins.

Judge Groarke said Mr English, Abbington, Malahide, Co Dublin, and chief of Winthrop Engineering, did not intend to offend Mr Moloney. He was angry “at this Fianna Fáil TD” who was making representations on behalf of somebody who, in his view, had been a troublesome employee.

Mr Moloney (63) of Ballyhoura Heights, Kilfinane, Co Limerick, told his counsel, David O’Neill, he had worked for years as an electrician for Winthrop Engineering, Turnpike Business Park, Dublin. He had been made redundant in August 2008 and had taken issue with the company through the Labour Court, which recommended he be paid redundancy. When he had not been paid he had gone to Mr Collins.

Mr Collins said he was TD for Limerick and Mr Moloney had asked him to make representations to Mr English about payment of the court recommendation. He had written to him and later they had spoken on the phone.

“He was very aggressive and dismissive of my role in making representations as a public representative on behalf of Mr Moloney and questioned my right to do so,” he said.