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Lowry refused defamation judgment

A JUDGE yesterday refused Independent TD Michael Lowry a declaration that he was defamed by journalist and broadcaster Sam Smyth on TV3's 'Tonight with Vincent Browne' programme and in a newspaper article.

Mr Lowry, of Holy Cross, Thurles, Co Tipperary, had sought the declaration under the 2009 Defamation Act, which allows for a legal short cut by way of summary judgment on the contention that Mr Smyth had no possible defence to the politician's claims.

Judge Margaret Heneghan, in a reserved judgment yesterday in the Circuit Civil Court, said she was satisfied Mr Lowry had not established that Mr Smyth, of The Gasworks, Barrow Street, Dublin, had no defence to the allegations of defamation.

Mr Lowry's claim may now go to a full hearing before another judge.

The case to date has been dealt with on the basis of sworn statements by both Mr Lowry and Mr Smyth and yesterday's decision will have no significance in the eventual overall outcome.

The case centres on comments made by Mr Smyth concerning the McCracken and Moriarty tribunals and their inquiries into matters relating to Mr Lowry's finances.

Mr Lowry alleges that Mr Smyth made false and defamatory remarks about him in an Irish Independent article and again on the TV3 show.

Irish Independent