Defamation case against Creighton may run this year

 

A DEFAMATION action by developer Michael O’Flynn against Fine Gael Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton may get a High Court hearing late this year.

The proceedings by the Cork developer and Fine Gael donor, whose companies have had loans of about €1 billion transferred to Nama, were initiated in late July 2010, just days after Ms Creighton gave a speech entitled Standards in Public Life and Accountability to the MacGill Summer School in Co Donegal.

During it she said: “We cannot, on the one hand, condemn Fianna Fáil for entertaining developers in the Galway tent, while on the other hand extend the biscuit tin for contributions from high-profile developers.”

Mr O’Flynn, founder of O’Flynn Construction, alleges he was defamed in that speech on July 20th and in an interview with Ms Creighton on RTÉ Radio’s News At One later that day. He also alleges defamation by Ms Creighton in an Irish Times article on July 24th, 2010. Ms Creighton, Fine Gael Minister for European Affairs, has denied defamation.

The case was listed before Mr Justice Éamon de Valera yesterday. Senior counsel Declan Doyle, for Mr O’Flynn, said his side wanted a hearing date but understood the defendant had a difficulty with a date in this court term. Senior counsel Paul O’Higgins, for Ms Creighton, said his client would be out of the State in early July.

Counsel said the case was likely to take four days. Mr Justice De Valera adjourned it to the next court list to fix dates in November.