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Reporter to fight Lowry's court action

JOURNALIST Sam Smyth yesterday told a court he would fight "head-on" a defamation action by politician Michael Lowry.

Mr Lowry is seeking a summary order against Mr Smyth under the Defamation Act of 2009, which allows a court to give a ruling where a defamatory statement has been made and where the defendant has no defence likely to succeed.

Mr Smyth is contesting the application, which concerns comments made by him about the inquiry into Mr Lowry being conducted by the Moriarty Tribunal.

Yesterday, his barrister Brendan Kirwan told Circuit Court president, Mr Justice Matthew Deery: "This is an unwarranted application and it will be met head-on."

Yesterday's application was adjourned by consent until November 22.

The Moriarty Tribunal, which is scheduled to sit next week, last sat in March of this year.

In his defamation action, Mr Lowry has alleged that comments made by Mr Smyth on TV3's 'Tonight With Vincent Browne' show in June and an article he wrote in the Irish Independent in May were defamatory.

In both instances, the comments concerned the tribunal's inquiries. Mr Smyth has been covering matters to do with Mr Lowry since the mid-1990s.

Mr Lowry has initiated proceedings against Mr Smyth but not against TV3 or Independent Newspapers.

Irish Independent