U-turn on unions 'nothing to do with airline defamation case'
Ryanair's decision to recognise trade unions has "nothing to do" with its defamation action against three pilots, a judge told a High Court jury.
Mr Justice Bernard Barton was giving directions to the jury of 10 men and two women. The case is now in its seventh week.
Following his charge, Mr Justice Barton sent the jury home and said they could begin their deliberations today.
They have been asked to consider whether, as Ryanair claims, a 2013 email from three members of the Ryanair Pilot Group (RPG) - Evert Van Zwol, John Goss and Ted Murphy - defamed the airline by saying that it had misled the market and facilitated insider trading.
The three pilots deny that the email, entitled 'Pilot update: what the markets are saying about Ryanair', was defamatory.
The judge said members of the jury had heard Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary say the company did not recognise trade unions.
"We all saw Mr O'Leary in the witness box and heard what he said about unions and his attitude to unions", he said.
"We have all become aware that Ryanair has announced that it is going to change and maybe that is a source of comfort to the three defendants.
"But is has absolutely nothing to do with this case."