Tuesday 16 July 2019

Former GAA president sued over copyright of photos used in his book

MEP Sean Kelly; and right, photographer Michelle Cooper Galvin outside Killarney District Court.
MEP Sean Kelly; and right, photographer Michelle Cooper Galvin outside Killarney District Court.
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

MEP and former GAA president Sean Kelly is being sued by a photographer who claims he used two of her photographs without permission in his book 'Rule 42 and All That'.

But the case, which came before Judge Olann Kelleher at Killarney District Court, will have to be heard by another judge, as two have already declined to hear it because they know the parties involved.

Photographer Michelle Cooper Galvin, of Nunstown, Aghadoe, Killarney, is jointly suing Mr Kelly, of Ballydowney, Fossa, Killarney, and the publishers Gill & MacMillan for infringement of copyright.

Her solicitor, Padraig O'Connell, told the court the case would involve a lot of technical matters concerning the reproduction of photographs in the publication and would take some time.

However, Judge Kelleher quickly ruled himself out because he said he knew Mr Kelly too well.

"I introduced him to the people of Cork in a sporting capacity and I would not feel comfortable hearing the case, because I know him well," he explained.

Previously, Judge James O'Connor, who usually presides over Killarney District Court, had also declined to hear the case.

Mr Kelly, a serving MEP for Ireland South who is seeking re-election to the European Parliament in May, was not in court but was represented by a solicitor. An adjournment was sought by solicitor Pat F O'Connor on behalf of Mr Kelly's solicitors Downing, Courtney and Larkin, to not have the case heard before June.

Ms Cooper Galvin claims that Mr Kelly and the publishers had without permission or payment unlawfully exploited her artistic work and sold copies of a literary work containing her photographs both nationally and internationally.

She claims the defendants wrongfully profited from her artistic endeavours without payment or permission and is seeking an award of aggravated and exemplary damages.


She is also making a claim for legal costs.

Published first in 2007, 'Rule 42 and All That' chronicles Mr Kelly's sporting life and the lead-up to one of the most defining moments in the GAA's history when he was at the helm of the country's most powerful sporting organisation.

In April 2005, a motion was passed on the controversial Rule 42, that paved the way for "foreign" games like soccer and rugby to be played in Croke Park.

Irish Independent

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