Judge to rule on Ryanair’s Channel 4 defamation case

Dispatches, shown in 2013, dealt with Ryanair’s fuel policy, pilots and passenger safety

A High Court judge will rule on Thursday on whether Ryanair is entitled to certain documents for its legal action against Channel 4 and a production company behind an allegedly defamatory TV programme about the airline.

The Dispatches “Secrets from the Cockpit” programme, broadcast in August 2013, dealt with Ryanair’s fuel policy, passenger safety, and pilot working conditions.

Ryanair claims it was defamatory because it wrongly meant the airline endangered passenger safety by operating a low fuel policy and by pressuring its pilots to take on as little fuel as possible.

Channel 4 and the programme makers, Blakeway Productions, deny the claims. They say the words complained of were true, an expression of honest opinion, and fair and reasonable publication on matters of public interest.


Ryanair sought court orders that the defendants make further and better discovery of certain documents it needs for its action.

The defendants opposed the application.

The discovery application was heard last June by Mr Justice Charles Meenan who said on Monday he would give his ruling on Thursday.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times