Sunday 18 February 2018

Mother claims photos were invasion of privacy

Tim Healy

A WOMAN who had a child with pantomime star Twink's ex-husband has brought a High Court action claiming she was defamed and her right to privacy breached when a newspaper published photos of them.

Ruth Hickey of Archer's Wood, Castaheany, Dublin 15, is suing the 'Sunday World' over the material that was published after she, her newborn son and partner David Agnew were photographed leaving the Births, Marriages and Deaths office in Dublin on May 10, 2006.

She claims her constitutional and European Convention rights to privacy, and that of her son, had been breached and wants the court to award damages, including aggravated and exemplary damages, against the newspaper.

She also claims she was defamed when the newspaper used an offensive word someone else had used about her.


Opening the case, Turlough O'Donnell, for Ms Hickey, described the newspaper as having shown a "merciless contempt" for her privacy.

Mr O'Donnell said Ms Hickey had been in a relationship with Mr Agnew, "who had been married to a celebrity", and the couple had a son who was born on February 15, 2006.

Ms Hickey, who works in public relations, was required to attend the registry office in Lombard Street within three months of the birth of her and Mr Agnew's son, counsel said.

As they were coming out, they were photographed by a photographer they later learnt may have been working for the 'Sunday World'.

Her solicitors wrote to the paper asking that no photos be published as this was a private family occasion, counsel said.

The paper subsequently published the photos, along with a headline "Twink's Ex Shows Off Love Child" and other defamatory material, counsel said.

The court heard the newspaper denies any breach of privacy and claims Ms Hickey gave an interview to 'Social and Personal' magazine in August 2005 about the expected birth of her child, though she denies this.

It says the location of the photographs, outside the registry office, is a public place.

The case, before Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, continues.

Irish Independent

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