MUSIC promoter Dave Kavanagh was in hospital following major surgery when he first learned about passages referring to him in a book written by the partner of the late broadcaster Gerry Ryan.
The Irish Independent has learned that having previously battled cancer and been given the all-clear, the 56-year-old former Clannad manager suffered a relapse in February this year, which led to one of his lungs being removed two weeks ago.
Mr Kavanagh was not in the High Court on Wednesday. He was granted an interim order restraining the sale and distribution of 'When We Dance', the autobiography of Melanie Verwoerd.
A source close to the agent, who has acted for acts including U2, the Boomtown Rats and Christy Moore, said: "Dave really doesn't need the stress of all this happening right now. This has all been deeply upsetting for him."
Mr Kavanagh was a close friend of singer Ronnie Drew, and was involved in the tribute album 'A Fond Farewell' after Drew died of cancer in August 2008.
The High Court case was adjourned for a fortnight as publishers Liberties Press and Ms Verwoerd prepared their arguments against Mr Kavanagh's claim that he had been defamed.
Meanwhile, the impresario has been told to rest at home.
The publishers and Ms Verwoerd agreed to the interim order sought by Mr Kavanagh, which applies until October 24, when the court will decide whether to continue it. Ms Verwoerd was in court for the brief hearing on Wednesday.