Sunday 25 June 2017

Hook sues journalist for defamation of character

Ray Managh

BROADCASTER and television rugby pundit George Hook is suing a 'Sunday Tribune' journalist for defamation of character.

The 69-year-old Newstalk presenter has already issued defamation proceedings against Tribune Newspapers Plc in relation to an article that appeared in the paper in October last year. The newspaper ceased publication in January and is in receivership.

Yesterday, barrister Conor Feeney appeared for Mr Hook in the County Registrar's Court and said he had intended making an application to join a co-defendant to the proceedings.

Mr Feeney said it was unlikely the newspaper would be responding to the action.

"The current defendant is not going to appear on this motion either way," Mr Feeney said.

Mr Hook, of Foxrock Park, Foxrock, Dublin 18, is maintaining his claim against the newspaper, and now seeks to join journalist Eithne Tynan to the proceedings on the grounds she was the author of the alleged defamatory article.

Ms Tynan, of Kilbaha, Kilrush, Co Clare, was radio critic at the 'Sunday Tribune' when she wrote an article with the headline "Fishy Hooky" on October 3 last year.

Solicitors for Mr Hook claim it ridicules his good name and suggests he manufactured a letter from a listener who wrote to him setting out the "demise in her personal wealth".

They had asked Ms Tynan for a written apology, which was to appear as an advertisement in a Sunday newspaper by Sunday, March 13, and also an offer of compensation.

They said the headline used on top of the piece was set out to ridicule him and that the article was "openly mocking".

The letter claimed the reputation of Mr Hook was lowered in the eyes of his listenership and the readers of the 'Sunday Tribune'.

Mr Feeney asked Registrar Verona Lambe for an adjournment to April 4.

Ms Tynan had not been served with notice of the motion before the court and it was adjourned.

Mr Hook was not in court for the brief hearing. He could not be contacted for comment.

Irish Independent

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