Saturday 25 November 2017

Father and daughter lose defamation court case against Ulster Bank

Ray Managh

CLAIMS by a man and his daughter that they had been defamed by Ulster Bank were dismissed today in the Circuit Civil Court.

Patrick Ryan, (65) of Temple Court, Prosperous, Co Kildare, and his daughter, Margaret, (29) of Allenwood, Co Kildare, were ordered by Judge Jacqueline Linnane to pay the banks legal fees.

Judge Linnane, in a reserved judgment, told barrister Andrew Walker, counsel for the bank, that the Ryans were directors of a company, Eurofix Ireland Limited.

In May 2008, Mr Ryan had signed a guarantee for just under €7,000 for the company and the bank had claimed it had been co-signed in Mr Ryan’s presence and in the presence of a bank witness by “a Margaret Ryan.”

When the bank sought to call in the money, Ms Ryan, had written saying she had not signed any guarantee. She had stated she would consider proceedings against her as defamatory if her name was read out in court.

Judge Linnane said the bank had discontinued the proceedings and had apologised to Ms Ryan who had later taken out defamation proceedings against the bank.

Her father had also taken defamation proceedings claiming the bank had contended he fraudulently introduced someone else to the bank as his daughter to sign the guarantee.

Judge Linnane said a member of the bank staff had told the court she had witnessed Mr Ryan’s signature and that of a woman who had signed the name “Margaret Ryan” to the guarantee.

While she had been unable to recall the identity of that woman she had told the court, without challenge, that she would sign her name as a witness only if she saw the document actually being signed.

The judge said both claims failed. Mr Ryan admitted signing the guarantee and when Ms Ryan pointed out she had not signed it, the bank immediately apologised and discontinued recovery proceedings against her.

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