News Courts

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Denis O'Brien claims Mail accused him of being a hypocrite

Published 06/02/2013 | 14:29

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Denis O Brien, arriving at the Four Courts before giving evidence during the opening day of his High Court Libel action for damage

BUSINESSMAN Denis O'Brien claims the Irish Daily Mail defamed him by accusing him of being a hypocrite when he provided assistance to the victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the High Court heard today.

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Mr O'Brien says the article was "nasty and spiteful" and written to damage his good name and reputation.

 

He is suing the Mail publishers, Associated Newspapers, its editor in chief Paul Dacre, editor of the Irish Daily Mail Paul Field and the author of the article Paul Drury.

 

The defendants deny the claims and say the article was an piece of opinion honestly held based on facts the author believed were true.

 

Mr O'Brien, whose business interests include the chairmanship of the international telecommunications company, Digicel, is suing over an article in the Irish Daily Mail on January 22 headlined: "Moriarty is about to report, no wonder Denis O'Brien is acting the saint in stricken Haiti."

 

He claims the words in the article meant his work in assisting the relief of Haiti was motivated by self interest and designed to deflect attention away from the Moriarty Tribunal final report which was published 14 months later.

 

Mr O'Brien the words in the article were falsely and maliciously defamatory of him.

 

Opening the case today, his counsel Jim O'Callaghan said the article was nasty and spiteful and written to damage his reputation.

 

Mr O'Brien had received a number of commendations for his work after the earthquake including being named a goodwill ambassador for Haiti and a Clinton Global Citizen award.

 

The case is being heard before a judge and a jury of six men and six women.

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