A pilot being sued by Ryanair for alleged defamation has been granted High Court orders requiring the airline to provide him with certain documents in advance of the case.
Ray Quigley, from Greenock, Glasgow, Scotland, is being sued over statements questioning the airline’s safety, which Ryanair claims are false and defamatory.
The statements were published on a website called “The Professional Pilots Rumour Network”, Ryanair claims.
Mr Quigley denies publication to anyone other than Ryanair.
He also pleads, if the allegedly defamatory words were published to anyone else, they were comment and opinion which is protected by Section 20 of the Defamation Act 2009 and were not defamatory.
He also pleads, if there was publication to anyone else, a defence of reasonable publication on a matter of public interest.
In April 2014, Mr Quigley’s lawyers wrote to Ryanair asking it to make voluntary discovery of documentation including reports, communications or warnings from aviation authorities related to safety at certain categories of airports used by the airline.
After the airline refused to discover certain documentation, Mr Justice Donald Binchy was asked to adjudicate on what discovery should be made.
The judge said Mr Quigley was entitled to discovery related to briefings given to its pilots which identify any factors, shortcomings or hazards to be addressed by its pilots when landing aircraft at certain types of airport. The documentation is limited to that generated since 2012.
He refused discovery in relation to two other categories of documents, one of which he described as being sought “in the nature of a fishing exercise”.