Former garda commissioner seeks extra time to sue Irish Examiner

Nóirín O’Sullivan seeks order to extend time legally allowed to bring defamation case

Judge David Barniville granted  Nórín O’Sullivan’s lawyers permission to serve Irish Examiner Ltd with short notice of her application to extend time. Photograph: Alan Betson

Judge David Barniville granted Nórín O’Sullivan’s lawyers permission to serve Irish Examiner Ltd with short notice of her application to extend time. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Former Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, who served in the top role for three years up to last year, wants to bring a defamation action against a national daily newspaper, the High Court has heard.

Ms O’Sullivan claims she was defamed by the Cork-based Irish Examiner newspaper. Her intended action was briefly mentioned before Mr Justice David Barniville during Wednesday’s vacation sitting of the High Court.

Her barrister, Gary Compton, told the court that Ms O’Sullivan was seeking an order allowing her to extend the time legally allowed to bring defamation proceedings before a court.

He said that under the 2009 Defamation Act, litigants had up to 12 months from the date of publication to bring defamation proceedings against the publisher but, under Section 38 of that Act, the High Court could extend the 12-month time limit to a maximum of two years.

Judge Barniville granted Ms O’Sullivan’s lawyers permission to serve Irish Examiner Ltd with short notice of her application to extend time.

Ex-parte basis

He granted permission on an ex-parte basis, in the absence of any representation on behalf of the newspaper, and made the matter returnable to Friday’s sitting of the court. During the short hearing no details concerning the alleged defamation were aired in open court.

Ms O’Sullivan (52) has served as director of strategic partnerships for Europe at the International Association of Chiefs of Police since October 2017.

She was the first woman to lead the Garda Síochána in its 92-year history. Ms O’Sullivan announced her resignation from An Garda Síochána on September 10th, 2017 and was appointed to her new position just over a month later.