O'Brien awarded €150k in Daily Mail defamation case

Denis O'Brien has claimed the Daily Mail article published shortly after an earthquake in Haiti, accused him of being a hypocrite and motivated by self-interest over his efforts to assist the relief of Haiti. Photograph: Collins Courts

Denis O'Brien has claimed the Daily Mail article published shortly after an earthquake in Haiti, accused him of being a hypocrite and motivated by self-interest over his efforts to assist the relief of Haiti. Photograph: Collins Courts

Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 00:00

Businessman Denis O’Brien has been awarded damages of €150,000 against The Irish Daily Mail after the paper published an article that accused him of being a hypocrite.

A jury of six men and six women found the article was defamatory and he was entitled to damages. Though they agreed it was the author’s honest opinion, they said it was not based on fact and was not in the public interest.

It was the first time the defence of honest opinion has been used in a defamation case in Ireland.It was introduced as part of the Defamation Act 2009.

Speaking outside the court Mr O'Brien said he was "delighted" with the verdict. “I think everyone has freedom of expression, that’s part of our democracy. I think everybody also has the right to their good name and reputation," he said.

Solicitor for Associated Newspapers Michael Kealey said the paper was "extremely disappointed" at the outcome.

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