A DEFAMATION action by a developer against junior Minister Lucinda Creighton may be heard next week, a High Court judge said yesterday.
The proceedings by Cork developer Micheal O'Flynn arise from a speech by Minister for European Affairs, entitled "Standards in Public Life and Accountability", to the MacGill Summer School in Co Donegal.
Mr O'Flynn, founder of O'Flynn Construction, alleges he was defamed in that speech of July 20, 2010, and in a follow-up interview with Ms Creighton broadcast on RTE Radio's News At One the same day. He also alleges defamation against Ms Creighton in a follow-up Irish Times article on July 24, 2010.
Ms Creighton, Fine Gael TD for Dublin South East, has denied defamation.
The case was listed for hearing today before a judge and jury but did not get on due to other cases ahead of it.
Lawyers for both sides said they were anxious that the case should be heard as soon as possible.
Ms Creighton had cleared five days from her busy diary to be available for the case, her counsel Paul O'Higgins said. She did not want it to be put back to next year as Ireland takes on the European presidency in January, he said.
Mr Justice Eamon deValera said it was probable that the case would get on next week and he would hear it himself with a jury. The case was therefore "backed up" until next week on the court list.