Ex-footballer sues paper over claims he organised swingers’ parties

Brian Nolan takes case against ‘Sunday World’ for defamation and breach of privacy

The “Sunday World” denies that the articles were written falsely or with malice

The “Sunday World” denies that the articles were written falsely or with malice


A former footballer said he was ostracised by some members of his own family after a newspaper story claimed he was involved in organising swingers’ parties, something he denies.

Brian Nolan (49) is suing the Sunday World for defamation and invasion of privacy over articles which were published by the newspaper on July 15th, 2012 and March 3rd, 2013.

A native of Newbridge, Mr Nolan of Goatstown, Dublin 14 , played senior football for Kildare in the 1990s.

Mr Nolan told the High Court sitting in Cork that he believed the articles in question were the reason why he was shunned by former friends and why members of his family told him that they wanted nothing more to do with him.

Opening the case for Mr Nolan, Paul O’Higgins SC said he was suing for defamation over a story headlined “Ex-GAA Star is the biggest swinger in town”. The story said Mr Nolan was involved in organising swinging parties, which he denied.

Constitutional right

Mr Nolan was also suing for damages over a breach of his constitutional right to privacy with the publication of a number of photographs of him in compromising positions taken at private parties which the Sunday World published without his consent, counsel said.

Examined by his other counsel, Jim O’Callaghan SC, Mr Nolan said he had attended four such parties at the invite of his then partner who was bisexual. He said he did not organise any of them and he stopped going to the parties as he did not feel comfortable at them.

Mr Nolan said he was approached outside his home on July 7th, 2012 by Sunday World reporter Niall Donald who told him they had compromising photographs of him at a swingers’ parties. He begged Mr Donald not to publish them.

“I did not want to be thrown out to the national media. It was no one else’s business, only my own,” said Mr Nolan. He said he had already suffered adverse publicity when he was convicted of money laundering and given a five-year suspended sentence in 2002, which was widely reported.

He was so upset that he tried to lose himself in drink and he contemplated taking his own life, he told the court.

Private parties

Mr Nolan strongly denied he had been involved in organising the four swingers’ parties which he attended.

“I was invited to these parties. How can I organise them when I did not even know the people? It [the Sunday World] is wrong, I didn’t organise them . . . I never organised any of them . . . I went to a number of parties, I didn’t like them, I got away from them,” he said.

Questioned about a picture of himself beside the almost bare bottoms of three women with the caption, “Cheeky boy”, Mr Nolan said he was told the parties were private and he never gave permission for the photographs to be published.

The Sunday World denies that the articles were written falsely or with malice. It also denies that the articles constitute a breach of Mr Nolan’s privacy and it is fully contesting the case which continues before Mr Justice Tony O’Connor.