A former Kildare GAA star insisted he only went to ‘swingers’ parties because his then-girlfriend wanted to satisfy her bisexual needs.
Brian ‘Spike’ Nolan (49), with an address in Goatstown in South Dublin, is claiming he was defamed by articles published in the ‘Sunday World’ in July 2012 and March 2013.
The articles claimed he was involved in organising ‘swingers’ or ‘wife-swapping’ parties, which he denies.
Breach of privacy has also been alleged.
The ‘Sunday World’ has denied all claims in the case. The newspaper has claimed privilege and that the matters involved were of public importance.
Mr Justice Tony O’Connor was told by counsel that the hearing is expected to take three days in the High Court.
Mr Nolan told the court he was left devastated following publication of the articles about his personal life.
“Yes, I tried to kill myself,” he told the court.
During the first day of the hearing at the High Court in Cork, Mr Nolan acknowledged he attended four ‘swingers’ parties staged in Dublin, Meath and Cavan with a €30 expenses fee for each.
“I don’t have an inner circle of wife-swappers. She [his girlfriend] was into it. I wasn’t into it. I did love the girl.
“[Eventually] I turned around to herself and I said I don’t want this anymore. I want you and that is it,” he said.
His then-girlfriend invited him to his first party, which was attended by around 30 people aged from their 40s to 60s.
“[She] told me she was bisexual and she said she attended the parties specially for her ‘bi’ side,” he said.
Mr Nolan said he couldn’t remember the name of the person who assured him any photos taken would be strictly private.
“It was consensual. If people wanted to make love to other people... if it occurred, it occurred. It was up to the individuals involved.”
Mr Nolan was later approached by a ‘Sunday World’ journalist outside his Dublin home on July 7, 2012.
The newspaper had been contacted about the parties by Mr Nolan’s estranged girlfriend.
The plaintiff said he was “shocked” when asked about “swingers parties”.
In cross-examination with Rossa Fanning SC, Mr Nolan admitted telling the reporter he would supply the names of all who attended the parties if the newspapers agreed not to publish the article about him.
He also acknowledged that, during a row with his girlfriend, he had threatened to “mess her up” by going to the newspapers himself about the parties.
He explained his relationship had ended badly with the woman who was jealous and violent towards him.
The ‘Sunday World’ published the story under the headline: ‘Ex-GAA star is the biggest swinger in town’.
A photo depicted Mr Nolan giving a thumbs-up signal while three women showed their lingerie-clad bottoms behind him.
The case continues.