Sunday 22 April 2018

Roy Keane's action against Paddy Power over 'Braveheart' billboard struck out

The Paddy Power Braveheart poster featuring Roy Keane's image
The Paddy Power Braveheart poster featuring Roy Keane's image

Tim Healy

IRELAND assistant football manager Roy Keane's legal action against bookmakers Paddy Power has been resolved.

The former Manchester United and Celtic player sued over the use of his face on a mocked-up image of the film "Braveheart" prior to the Ireland Scotland European Championship qualifier last June.

The action related to Paddy Power's use of a billboard featuring Mr Keane in a still photo as the Oscar-winning film's Scottish hero William Wallace. The image was allegedly placed on the side of a 40ft truck and driven around Dublin ahead of the international match.

The billboard contained a line adapted from the film "You may take our points, but at least we have our freedom. (Ya wee Pussies)". The Euro 2016 qualifier finished 1-1.

In his action against the bookmaker, Mr Keane sought damages claiming his image had been used without his prior knowledge or consent. It was also claimed his constitutional rights were breached. The case was due to be heard before the High Court's commercial division.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern was told the dispute had been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties and could be struck out. No details of the settlement were revealed to the court and the agreement is understood to be confidential.

Roy Keane
Roy Keane

In his action, Mr Keane claimed his image was very deliberately used by Paddy Power, which he alleged is renowned for its controversial approach to marketing for its commercial benefit. It was claimed his image was central to the poster

campaign, given his high profile.

He claimed the advert was designed to give the incorrect impression to the public that Mr Keane and the defendant's business were connected. The use of the image, it was claimed, constituted "a serious and flagrant misrepresentation and a misuse of the substantial and valuable goodwill enjoyed by Mr Keane in his name, image, likeliness and professional reputation."

It was also claimed the advert was couched in crude and vulgar terms towards Scottish people. It made a mocking reference to the outcome of the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum, which decided Scotland should remain within the UK, it was claimed.

It did not represent his views and harmed his connection with Scotland, he claimed.

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