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Student's defamation claim fails after row at bank

A LAW student faces a legal bill of €15,000 after losing his defamation case claiming a bank clerk screamed "You've been on 'Crimeline'" when she saw him.

Allied Irish Bank successfully defeated the €38,000 damages claim by second-year law student Darren Reid, after a two-day trial in the Circuit Civil Court.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery said Mr Reid, from Lansdowne Valley, Slievebloom Road, Drimnagh, Dublin, had failed to prove his allegation that bank clerk Grainne Hurley screamed when she saw him, threw her hands in the air, and shouted: "I'm not serving you. You have been on 'Crimeline'," before running off.

The judge said Ms Hurley had denied saying such words and a colleague who had been working alongside her, Elizabeth Weldon Donnelly, had not heard her scream nor seen her run off.

Judge Deery said Mr Reid had entered the Grafton Street branch of AIB on October 15, 2009, to ask the bank to desist from offering him increased loan facilities and complain about overdraft excess charges on his account.

He accepted that if the words complained of had been spoken, they would have been defamatory. But what was alleged to have been said had been seriously disputed and denied by Ms Hurley, who stated Mr Reid had become loud, angry and aggressive when complaining about his overdraft.

The judge dismissed Mr Reid's claim and awarded costs against him.

Irish Independent