Tuesday 21 November 2017

Lucinda Creighton and Renua Ireland being sued for alleged defamation of character

Former Renua leader Lucinda Creighton Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Former Renua leader Lucinda Creighton Photo: Frank Mc Grath

Ray Managh

Lucinda Creighton and Renua Ireland, the political party she helped to form, are being sued by a Dublin man for alleged defamation of character, the Circuit Civil Court was told today.

The proposed legal proceedings against them was revealed before Judge Jacqueline Linnane when barrister Darren Lehane sought to have an associated claim against the Attorney General struck out.

The claims are being brought by James Clarke, of Brookhaven Park, Blanchardstown, Co Dublin, who alleges his good name was impugned by Creighton and Renua and is attempting to hold the Attorney General vicariously liable as the State’s legal representative responsible for the actions of a Teachta Dala.

Barrister James Geoghegan, who appeared with St John Solicitors for Creighton and Renua Ireland, told Judge Linnane that he would later be bringing motions before the court to have the proceedings against his clients struck out.

Clarke, who legally represented himself, said he had served Ms Creighton and the Attorney General with the proceedings by way of e-mail but was told that service of legal documents could not be performed in this manner.

He said he intended to properly serve proceedings on all three parties prior to a new court date in mid-February when the cases were listed again for mention.

Judge Linnane said Mr Clarke had a number of similar claims coming down the line against other parties which were listed for hearing on February 15 and adjourned all matters until that date.

Mr Lehane, who appeared with solicitor Nicky Tyson for the State, said there were a number of other actions outstanding including a second claim against the Attorney General for which motions would be brought to have them struck out.

Judge Linnane said Mr Clarke had sworn three affidavits, only one of which had been served on the Attorney General which would allow the State’s legal entity make application to be removed as a defendant from the other cases of alleged defamation.

The judge said she did not know if Renua Ireland was still in existence.

The court heard that none of the purported defendants had been appropriately served and the Attorney General had already entered a conditional appearance to the claim it was seeking to have struck out.

It was learned afterwards that Mr Clarke had issued proceedings against a number of other defendants, including a well-known national journalist, and all of which will now be considered on February 15.

Judge Linnane granted Mr Lehane and Mr Geoghegan leave to bring whatever motions they considered appropriate on February 15.

Ms Creighton (36) is a former TD for Dublin South East and was Minister of State for European Affairs up until losing the Fine Gael party whip when she voted against the Government on its Bill which sought to set limits by which abortion could be legally carried out in the State.

She resigned from Fine Gael in July 2013 but lost her seat at the 2016 general election in May last.

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